As much as we'd probably all love this recent alleged vicodin theft scandal to just go away so we can continue to focus on Saints football and defending a championship, it appears these allegations could be a hot topic of discussion for quite a while. This is purely personal opinion, but I'm afraid we've only been exposed to the tip of the iceberg and, as often happens in situations like this, there are more dark secrets yet to be revealed. I've just got a bad feeling that this could be bigger than we think.
What should have Saints fans worried is that this isn't just some "average Joe" off the street filing this lawsuit and making these accusations. Santini is a retired FBI agent who spent four years taking down former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards and even testifying against the governor and his brother in court. He was so deeply involved that Edwards was accused of attempting to have Santini's phone lines wiretapped in 1998 because Edwards wanted to know ''what's happening, what he thinks, and what he believes.'' He is no amateur and by comparison, the NFL is probably child's play.
Call me naive, but I don't think this is a guy who would publicly lie on legal record. Regardless of whether he's motivated by greed and attempting to blackmail the organization, that doesn't mean his allegations aren't true or the events listed in the lawsuit didn't occur. And even in the event that he actually was lying, Santini's background and law enforcement history mean his testimony carries significantly more weight in the courtroom than the average citizen. Advantage: Santini.
But who cares about this civil suit? Santini just wants his money. There might even be some penalties handed down from the league Not the worst thing in the world. What would be a concern is a possible criminal investigation brought about by the accusations in the civil suit. The latest news says that local authorities in Jefferson Parish have not begun any probes yet but the DEA has a pending investigation. According to the civil lawsuit filed by Santini, the DEA has actually been involved as early as the summer of 2009...
Subsequent conversations ensued between plaintiff and GM Loomis concerning upcoming discussions with the DEA about the situation and the need to keep SSM A's name out of the conversation.
And the NFL smelled something funny a while back as well...
On July 30, 2009, plaintiff was contacted by NFL security representatives who requested additional information because they believed that NFL security had not been provided with full and complete facts concerning the missing pills.
If criminal investigations have already been underway for this long, why haven't we heard anything about this until a civil suit filing? The fact that this investigation would take them an entire year to perform raises concerns that there's more we might learn. And why is the civil suit only being filed now, a year later? Perhaps it was being held back in conjunction with the completion of the investigation, so as not to get in the way, and now all is ready to be revealed. I'm just not liking it.
We've got no idea what will inevitably happen but as Saints fans, we can only trust this is the worst of it. Because it worked so well last summer, I will once again adopt my famous attitude of cautious optimism as we wait for more details. Hopeful that the Saints dynasty will remain strong, but nervous it could all come crumbling down.