Report: Saints' Loomis eavesdropped 0
New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis had the ability to eavesdrop on opposing coaching staffs, according to a report on Monday.
The ESPN program "Outside the Lines" was told that the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Louisiana was informed on Friday that Loomis had an electronic device in his Superdome suite that had been re-wired to give him the capability to eavesdrop on visiting coaching staffs for three seasons.
Loomis responded by email to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, which Glazer posted on his Twitter account:
"This report on ESPN is absolutely false. I have a monitor in front of me in my booth that provides the league issued stats for the game. I have a small tv [sic] with the network broadcast and I have an earpiece to listen to the WWL- AM radio (flagship broadcaster) game broadcast.
"To think I am sitting in there listening and actually and or doing something with the offensive and defensive play calls of the opposing teams makes this story and the unnamed sources that provided the false information that much more less credible...it just didn't happen."
According to the ESPN report, sources that are familiar with game-day operations for the Saints said that Loomis had the ability to secretly listen for most of the 2002 season and all of the '03 and '04 seasons.
Loomis, who became the general manager of the team in 2002, was issued an eight-game suspension for his role in the bounty program that was brought to light in early March.
U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Jim Letten, confirmed that he was told of the alleged eavesdropping on Friday and sources told ESPN that he has briefed the FBI about it. If the allegations are proven true, they could be both a violation of NFL rules and a federal crime, as the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 prohibits any person from intercepting communications from another person using an electronic or mechanical device.
The device was reportedly installed in the general manager's suite in 2000, when Randy Mueller served as the Saints' general manager. However, the sources said that Mueller only had the ability to monitor game-day communication of the Saints' coaching staff.