Saints Deny New Charge: Spying on Opposing Coaches

GM Mickey Loomis allegedly eavesdropped from Superdome suite
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2012 4:53 PM CDT
General manager Mickey Loomis of the New Orleans Saints talks to a coach prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Louisiana Superdome on October 31, 2010 in New Orleans, La.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – First the bounty scandal—and now eavesdropping? New Orleans Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis has been accused of listening in on visiting coaches for almost three years using an electronic device in his Superdome suite, ESPN reports. The US Attorney's Office in eastern Louisiana confirmed the accusation today, but said that "anything beyond that I'm afraid I'm not at liberty to comment." A Saints rep called the allegation "1,000% false. This is 1,000% inaccurate."

If Loomis did eavesdrop on visiting coaches, he's in luck: The federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act under which he would be charged has a 5-year statute of limitations, and the electronic hookup was allegedly disabled in 2005. But he could face conspiracy charges for covering up the ECPA violation, or be sued by victims of the eavesdropping. "That's shocking," said former Saints defensive coordinator Rick Venturi. "I can tell you if we did it, nobody told me about it. ... Nobody ever helped me during a game."

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