The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Louisiana was told Friday that Saints general manager Mickey Loomis had an electronic device in his Superdome suite that had been secretly re-wired to enable him to eavesdrop on visiting coaching staffs for nearly three NFL seasons, ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” has learned.
Sources familiar with Saints game-day operations told “Outside the Lines” that Loomis, who faces an eight-game suspension from the NFL for his role in the recent bounty scandal, had the ability to secretly listen for most of the 2002 season, his first as general manager of the Saints, and all of the 2003 and 2004 seasons. The sources spoke with “Outside the Lines” under the condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisals from members of the Saints organization.
Jim Letten, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, acknowledged being told of the allegations Friday and has briefed the FBI in New Orleans about Loomis’ alleged activity, according to sources. If proven, the allegations could be both a violation of NFL rules and potentially a federal crime, according to legal sources. The federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986 prohibits any person from intercepting communications from another person using an electronic or mechanical device.
“I can say that we were just made aware of that on Friday, at least of these allegations,” Letten said. “Anything beyond that I’m afraid I’m not at liberty to comment.”
Greg Bensel, Saints vice president of communications, said Monday afternoon on behalf of the Saints and Loomis: “This is 1,000 percent false. This is 1,000 percent inaccurate.”
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league was unaware of the allegations.