Lawsuit says Saints covered up stolen Vicodin - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lawsuit says Saints covered up stolen Vicodin

From The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS, LA (AP) — Less than three months after their thrilling victory in the Super Bowl, the New Orleans Saints have been accused by their former security director of trying to cover up the theft of prescription pain pills from the club's drug locker.

One of those involved was head coach Sean Payton, two people familiar with the case told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the suit. Payton and the Saints denied the allegations, and Payton was not named in court papers.

The lawsuit, filed Friday by Geoffrey Santini, a former FBI agent who resigned from the club in August 2009, alleged one senior staff member stole Vicodin pills while another was given an amount large enough to constitute abuse.

The suit did not name the staff members. However, the two people familiar with the case said Payton allegedly was allowed to take a large quantity of pills from the team supply, and another staff member allegedly stole pills. No allegations were made against any Saints players, the two people said.

Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said the allegations are false and the club will aggressively defend itself in court. And Payton, who was at his vacation home in Watercolor, Fla., on Saturday, denied any wrongdoing.

"I have reviewed Geoff Santini's lawsuit and the unwarranted publicity it has received," Payton said in a statement released by the team. "I have never abused or stolen Vicodin or any other medication and I fully support the Saints' position in this matter."

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said that while the league had not read the complaint, "we are aware of the lawsuit and that the Saints reject the claims as false."

The theft of Vicodin, a narcotic used to relieve moderate to severe pain, is a state and federal offense. Any attempt to cover up such a theft also could constitute a state or federal crime. Failure to report a felony also is a federal crime.

Santini's attorney, Donald Hyatt II, said he was not aware if any criminal charges had been filed. He said if there was a sealed indictment it would not have been made public.

Santini reported the possible violations to federal authorities on June 23, 2009. He resigned from the Saints on Aug. 16, 2009, and first alerted the Saints of his intent to sue the club on Sept. 14, Hyatt said.

Santini worked 31 years for the FBI. His lawsuit says he resigned from the Saints because of a disagreement over the team's handling of the Vicodin episode.

Santini is seeking damages and back pay.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • What's Going Around: travel-related illnesses

    What's Going Around: travel-related illnesses

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 7:05 AM EDT2017-07-26 11:05:25 GMT

    Traveler's diarrhea, malaria, Zika virus, and the sicknesses goes on. KPLC's Britney Glaser reports the CDC has a long, growing list of travel advisories to many countries this summer and if you do not take early precautions, you could find yourself with What's Going Around this week. 

    More >>

    Traveler's diarrhea, malaria, Zika virus, and the sicknesses goes on. KPLC's Britney Glaser reports the CDC has a long, growing list of travel advisories to many countries this summer and if you do not take early precautions, you could find yourself with What's Going Around this week. 

    More >>
  • New DNA technology advances helps find alleged murderer in 2009 cold case

    New DNA technology advances helps find alleged murderer in 2009 cold case

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 8:26 PM EDT2017-07-27 00:26:08 GMT
    (Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC)(Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC)

    Monica Quaal handles DNA from crime scenes across southwest Louisiana. "We just take evidence from law enforcement agencies they collect at the scene and then we take samples from it," said Quaal the DNA technical leader at the southwest Louisiana Crime Lab.  It's samples Quaal tries to find a match for and she has been working on a case for the past seven years. The 2009 Sierra Bouzigard cold case. The DNA had been placed in CODIS, a DNA database, but...

    More >>

    Monica Quaal handles DNA from crime scenes across southwest Louisiana. "We just take evidence from law enforcement agencies they collect at the scene and then we take samples from it," said Quaal the DNA technical leader at the southwest Louisiana Crime Lab.  It's samples Quaal tries to find a match for and she has been working on a case for the past seven years. The 2009 Sierra Bouzigard cold case. The DNA had been placed in CODIS, a DNA database, but...

    More >>
  • Ideas for tackling teen violence include church activities and teen dances

    Ideas for tackling teen violence include church activities and teen dances

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 8:21 PM EDT2017-07-27 00:21:40 GMT

    A lot of recent violent crime in the Lake area has involved teens. which leads to the question what can be done to stop the violence among our youth?  A concerned citizen and statewide church group are among those working to help young people avoid trouble and find the right path. People from around the state who belong to the Louisiana Home and Foreign Missions of the Baptist State Convention Inc. are in Lake Charles this week.  An event at a local church site might ...

    More >>

    A lot of recent violent crime in the Lake area has involved teens. which leads to the question what can be done to stop the violence among our youth?  A concerned citizen and statewide church group are among those working to help young people avoid trouble and find the right path. People from around the state who belong to the Louisiana Home and Foreign Missions of the Baptist State Convention Inc. are in Lake Charles this week.  An event at a local church site might ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly