As the New Orleans Saints continue to celebrate their first-ever Super Bowl win, they’re facing a challenge not on the field, but in a court of law.
And the lawsuit contains some strong allegations.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Geoffrey Santini, the team’s former Director of Security, claims that he was “constructively discharged” (i.e., compelled to quit) after G.M. Mickey Loomis allegedly attempted to cover up details relating to the theft of Vicodin tablets by two unnamed senior staff members.
The final straw apparently came when Loomis allegedly misrepresented to owner Tom Benson in August 2009 the fact that both of the unnamed employees who had been stealing the pills had medical reasons for taking Vicodin, a potent — and addictive — painkiller. Santini alleges that only one of the two employees had a medical condition requiring the medication.
After communicating his intent to resign, Santini allegedly told Loomis that “the continuing efforts to misrepresent the state of affairs concerning the distribution and the entire pattern of events . . . made it reasonably impossible for [Santini] to continue his employment with the Saints.”
The Saints reject Santini’s claims. “A former employee who resigned just before the 2009 regular season
threatened to go public with these unfounded charges unless we agreed to
pay him an exorbitant sum of money,” Saints V.P.
of communications Greg Bensel told the Times-Picayune. “We refused, and now he has gone
public. We will aggressively defend these false allegations in court.”
Time will tell whether the allegations are indeed false. At one point, federal authorities were advised of the Vicodin thefts. It’s unknown whether and to what extent a criminal investigation occurred. If it did, and if Santini’s allegations regarding Loomis are accurate, the investigation presumably would have explored his role in allegedly attempting to cover up the situation.