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Lions president busted for DUI, admits to being in "active recovery"

Just as the Detroit Lions were beginning to feel optimistic about their future, it appears that one of the key members of the organization decided to celebrate the looming success prematurely. 

And excessively.  Allegedly.

Tom Leyden of WXYZ-TV reports that Lions president Tom Lewand has been arrested for suspicion of drunk driving.  Per Leyden, Lewand has issued the following statement:  “I am deeply sorry for my actions and take full responsibility for them.  As a person in active recovery, I am committed to taking all necessary steps to insure [sic] nothing like this ever happens again.”

We appreciate Lewand’s decision to own up to the situation, but it hardly justifies his actions.  At a time when the NFL is trying to get players not to drive drunk — by among other things providing alternative means for getting home after having too much to drink — the folks at the top of an organization need to set the right example.

And so all eyes will be on the league office.  Though we wish Lewand the best as he continues what he has described as “active recovery,” the NFL can’t drop the hammer on players and then do nothing when team presidents run afoul of the Personal Conduct Policy, and the law.

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51 Responses to “Lions president busted for DUI, admits to being in "active recovery"”
  1. JaggedMark says: Jun 27, 2010 12:02 AM

    As punishment, owner William Clay Ford has declared that Lewand will have to face Ndamukong Suh in a cage match, to the death!

  2. dafish says: Jun 27, 2010 12:06 AM

    can you blame him?

  3. detroitslim says: Jun 27, 2010 12:09 AM

    At least he was arrested with his clothes on.
    If that’s not a sign Detroit’s heading in the right direction, I don’t know what is.

  4. mzezulak says: Jun 27, 2010 12:11 AM

    Punishment should be swift and severe and should be a minimum of one season as a couple games is meaningless for a senior executive.

  5. Burritto says: Jun 27, 2010 12:11 AM

    You know ensure/insure, yet you employ Rosenthal. Ain’t that somethin’….

  6. fu-schnickens says: Jun 27, 2010 12:15 AM

    At least he didn’t roll through a drive-thru naked.

  7. Buck Stallion says: Jun 27, 2010 12:25 AM

    The league shouldn’t have to do anything. The Lions need to fire this guy today. The NFL might not consider this action worse than beating your wife or girlfriend, but people get killed all the time by drunk drivers (more than one each hour) all the time…even by ones “in active recovery”
    You can’t have a leader of men doing stuff like this.

  8. VegasRandy says: Jun 27, 2010 12:30 AM

    There is no addiction to driving drunk. He choose to do it and is using the “active recovery” to shift blame.
    Consequences shape behaviour and only harsh punishment will change the culture of drunk driving.
    Fire him.

  9. HereThere says: Jun 27, 2010 12:55 AM

    He didn’t happen to strip down and hit the Wendy’s drive-through, did he?

  10. Sheriff04 says: Jun 27, 2010 1:06 AM

    These people have millions of dollars and insist on driving home when they’ve been drinking. You could have your own limo service with the money they make. I mean how hard is it to arrange for a limo to take you home, or a cab.. whatever it is.
    If you can’t afford it, that’s one thing, but when you can, comeon. One, keeps you out of trouble, keeps everyone safe, and you don’t have any worries about getting home. And you can even catch some zzz’s on the ride home if your really tired. That’s always a bonus after a late night drinking.

  11. coltsrecre8 says: Jun 27, 2010 1:09 AM

    was he wearing pants was he at a wendy’s

  12. VoxVagina says: Jun 27, 2010 1:23 AM

    What an idiot. Plus he used the word insure incorrectly in a written statement. And this clown is the president? Wow the Lions deserve better

  13. blmonroe12 says: Jun 27, 2010 1:42 AM

    Reset the Turd counter..
    I wish Millen would’ve gotten busted, I would’ve loved to have seen that video… After his drafts, no one would’ve blamed him for slammin a thousand beers and driving himself to the nearest bridge..

  14. steelerer says: Jun 27, 2010 2:07 AM

    It would be unheard of if he didnt get a suspension. VJax has 2 duis 3 years apart, how many suspensions has he had? So really was you last paragraph really necessary.

  15. kishcollageit says: Jun 27, 2010 2:23 AM

    Was he caught coming from the Country Club?

  16. inpalmerItrust says: Jun 27, 2010 2:35 AM

    He’s in Detroit….he needs to drink…just take a taxi next time.

  17. faulkn22 says: Jun 27, 2010 6:13 AM

    Lovely

  18. JimmySmith says: Jun 27, 2010 7:39 AM

    You drink too if you had to run that team

  19. realitypolice says: Jun 27, 2010 8:08 AM

    Buck Stallion says:
    June 27, 2010 12:25 AM
    The league shouldn’t have to do anything. The Lions need to fire this guy today. The NFL might not consider this action worse than beating your wife or girlfriend, but people get killed all the time by drunk drivers (more than one each hour) all the time…even by ones “in active recovery”
    You can’t have a leader of men doing stuff like this.
    ======================
    A far better punishment would be for the Lions to extend his contract 10 more years with no out clause. 10 more years working for that organization is about as harsh a punishment as I can think of.
    Kidding aside- great post. Love the subtle dig at the league- they deserve it.

  20. Andrew Letier says: Jun 27, 2010 8:12 AM

    How could Tom Leyden say that Tom Lawend is a smart man and made a regrettable error?
    Can not be too smart to drive when drunk.
    and error is the first time you make a mistake.
    if as it was nicely put active recovery is BS.
    if he were he would know you are drinking and if you care (Or Smart) you would have someone drive you. All these statements From people,agents, Lawyers.Doctors are not real.
    you sound like a good man why give then a way out they do not deserve It. just say he was Drunk and driving and dumb and could have “hurt or killed someone” Don’t tell the BS that no one means.

  21. Andrew Letier says: Jun 27, 2010 8:16 AM

    How could Tom Leyden say that Tom Lawend is a smart man and made a regrettable error?
    Can not be too smart to drive when drunk.
    and error is the first time you make a mistake.
    if as it was nicely put active recovery is BS.
    if he were he would know you are drinking and if you care (Or Smart) you would have someone drive you. All these statements From people,agents, Lawyers.Doctors are not real.
    you sound like a good man why give then a way out they do not deserve It. just say he was Drunk and driving and dumb and could have “hurt or killed someone” Don’t tell the BS that no one means.
    Leyden is keep thr door open so that when he needs Lawend for a story he can call him why dont you tell him mike?

  22. SteelerJoe says: Jun 27, 2010 8:36 AM

    “Active recovery” means sober. Sober people do not get charged with drunk driving. A suspension won’t solve his problem, but AA will. Hope he realizes that before he kills someone.

  23. dietrich43 says: Jun 27, 2010 8:54 AM

    What can they do to punish him? He’s already president of the Lions!

  24. vanhelsing says: Jun 27, 2010 8:59 AM

    lewand has avoided blame for all his involvement in the lions debacle.
    just fire him already willie cf.

  25. tombrookshire says: Jun 27, 2010 9:07 AM

    Unfortunately, drunken driving is as Amercian as the 4th of July. The courts virtually laugh it off with the light sentences of even those who drive drunk and kill people (see Stallworth, Donte). By saying he is in active recovery, while still driving drunk is just spin. Just like with everyone else in the NFL who flaunts the laws the rest of must obey, this guy will also get an NFL-style skate.

  26. Deacon Blues says: Jun 27, 2010 9:25 AM

    We had a school board President with the writing skills of a 3rd grader, who yanked on it for 20 minutes and the finally whipped it out during a meeting with another executive (female) …….
    We have pretty loose standard for Executives in this town…. kinda like Washington DC

  27. JuicyMelon says: Jun 27, 2010 9:33 AM

    Okay let’s not be hypocrites about this. If this is true, then yes he should serve some type of punishment. But let’s be honest. This is not only an NFL wide problem, but something each of us has dealt with at some point or another. I don’t think he should lose his job or be suspended for a long amount of time. The NFL should enforce that he get treatment and lay out the terms for him if this were to happen again. Hopefully this is his wake up call.

  28. Tinbender says: Jun 27, 2010 9:38 AM

    As a person in active recovery, I am committed to taking all necessary steps to insure [sic] nothing like this ever happens again.”
    ————————————————————-
    Shouldn’t that have been [hic] ?
    And what the heck is “active recovery”, and why does it require you to drive drunk?

  29. lionsarethebestteamever says: Jun 27, 2010 9:41 AM

    As punishment, the Lions will renew his contract, so he can spend 5 more years losing.

  30. GRpatriot says: Jun 27, 2010 9:43 AM

    Let’s see take a 3rd round draft pick! Is this the same guy that was driving while naked? No?
    Maybe next time he’ll kill somebody?

  31. vesselsk says: Jun 27, 2010 9:47 AM

    I’m surprised he even got caught, there aren’t very many cops in northern Michigan. He must have been effed up….but at least he did it with his clothes on

  32. caljetsfan says: Jun 27, 2010 10:07 AM

    He’s still having flashbacks of a 0-16 season, just keeps haunting him, So he drinks to forget.

  33. TheToolofTools says: Jun 27, 2010 10:22 AM

    Matt Millen never got a dui …. his lips were too busy kissing the owners ass !

  34. Bigbluefan says: Jun 27, 2010 10:23 AM

    Come on now you would drink to much too if you had the following
    The President of the Lions and Detroit come on if that is not an excuse for Drinking then I do not know what is.
    The only worse job in the nfl is the being Vick minder

  35. Little Tommy says: Jun 27, 2010 10:53 AM

    Time to reset the Florio Days Without An Arrest – O Meter! Hope he was caught in a Ford vehicle.

  36. Little Tommy says: Jun 27, 2010 10:54 AM

    Time to reset the Florio Days Without An Arrest – O Meter! Hope he was caught in a Ford vehicle.

  37. Little Tommy says: Jun 27, 2010 10:55 AM

    Okay let’s not be hypocrites about this. If this is true, then yes he should serve some type of punishment. But let’s be honest. This is not only an NFL wide problem, but something each of us has dealt with at some point or another. I don’t think he should lose his job or be suspended for a long amount of time. The NFL should enforce that he get treatment and lay out the terms for him if this were to happen again. Hopefully this is his wake up call.
    *********************************************
    Isn’t working for the Detroit Lions punishment enough! LOL

  38. JuicyMelon says: Jun 27, 2010 11:36 AM

    @Little Tommy,
    LOL

  39. FixorrepairD says: Jun 27, 2010 11:40 AM

    Why should the league punish him any more than he already is being punished. He is the president of the LIONS isn’t he?
    He already resides in hell, what could be worse.

  40. markwhct says: Jun 27, 2010 11:43 AM

    Now he can communicate better with his players…if he only had crack and pills with him too!

  41. Tomthebombtracy says: Jun 27, 2010 12:22 PM

    It’s Detroit and it’s inevitable that there will be a conversation with the commissioner and Lewand and describe it as “Roger And Me.”
    Serously, the league has to look at this.
    Big Ben got a heavy dose of pain for a being a high profile figure who got into trouble.
    A team president…that’s pretty high level.
    Of course it took Ford a long time to dump Millen. He had to be embarrassed into it through remarks by his own son.

  42. scomibord says: Jun 27, 2010 12:32 PM

    Active recovery=sober….ie not drinking just a bunch of fluff

  43. pitch87mph says: Jun 27, 2010 1:09 PM

    I’m not a labor attorney (or any kind of attorney for that matter) so I’m speaking out of my *ss here. But does the NFL have “jurisdiction” here? I recall something to the effect where players sign contracts that essentially make them employees of the NFL (regardless of the team they play for). But is that the same as front-office guys? Do they sign “NFL contracts” and become “NFL emloyees”? Or are they employees of the franchise? And if the latter, would the NFL really be permitted to suspend or punish someone in the front office? I imagine they could place pressure on the team to do something. But I’m just wondering out loud if there isn’t some kind of distinction there that would be legally relevant. Maybe my assumptions are off, and there’s not legal distinction between the players and a front-office employee. Just playing amateur attorney.

  44. Dick Gozinia says: Jun 27, 2010 1:10 PM

    his happened in a small town in the middle of nowhere. I doubt there’s even a cab company out there.
    I don’t condone drunk driving, I’m not swayed by his covert plea for sympathy by volunteering that he’s a recovering drunk. Just stating that after the fact that he drank too much, his transportation options became limited. Not justified, but as good an excuse as any.

  45. Jax says: Jun 27, 2010 1:29 PM

    And here I thought the organization was moving in the right direction

  46. XLI says: Jun 27, 2010 1:43 PM

    Well this explains all the fights they were having in OTAs and Mini Camp… they were all drunk! Might also explain their draft choices pre-2009.
    Few things in life are certain: Death, Taxes, and the Lions sucking.

  47. Beast Of The East says: Jun 27, 2010 2:56 PM

    @detroitslim
    HILARIOUS!

  48. football24-7 says: Jun 27, 2010 3:10 PM

    oh tom, you cant afford a driver????

  49. kingmj4891 says: Jun 27, 2010 3:55 PM

    As a Lion’s fan I am disappointed in hearing this. He can be replaced. He needs to resign/ get fired. Wish him the best of luck in his recovery.

  50. Joe C says: Jun 27, 2010 4:19 PM

    Ironically, I’m sure this isn’t the first of these incidents for him or the 100,000+ in America that do it every day.
    It isn’t until they actually, you know, crash and KILL someone, that they are actually “sorry”. It’s the same way for people who use drugs, speed, lie, cheat, steal, etc.
    Driving’s hard enough. And it’s never been more dangerous with the drunk, texting/cell phone using, sleepy, etc. drivers on the road today.

  51. kitchn says: Jun 27, 2010 9:00 PM

    lol this is where i live ….too funny

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