Louisiana State Police is joining the FBI in its investigation into allegations of wiretapping by New Orleans Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis, State Police Col. Mike Edmonson said Tuesday.
“My job is to review the allegations and find out if any state laws were broken,” he said. “We are going to move as thoroughly and as quickly as we can but we are going to make sure we are fair, consistent and professional.”
The allegations in question surfaced Monday in an ESPN report using an anonymous source. The report said that Loomis’ booth in the Superdome was wired so he could listen to opposing coaches’ radio communications during games.
ESPN could not determine if the system was ever used but said Loomis would have been able to eavesdrop on opponents from 2002 to 2004. The report also said the system was disabled in 2005, when the Superdome was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Saints spokesman Greg Bensel called the report “1,000 percent false.”
“We asked ESPN to provide us evidence to support their allegations and they refused,” Bensel said. “The team and Mickey are seeking all legal recourse regarding these false allegations.”
Loomis explained his use of an earpiece and described his game-day setup in the Superdome booth in an emailed statement.
“I have a monitor in front of me in my booth that provides the league-issued stats for the game,” Loomis said. “I have a small TV with the network broadcast and I have an earpiece to listen to the WWL-AM radio game broadcast.
“To think I am sitting in there listening and actually ... 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,” Loomis’ statement continued. “It just didn’t happen.”
Edmonson said “it’s important to note at this point these are allegations.”
State Police will investigate those allegations and try and determine whether they are fact, he said. If they are, investigators will then decide what, if any, state laws were broken, Edmonson said.
“Wiretapping laws are very clear in Louisiana,” Edmonson said. “You can’t wiretap or eavesdrop on someone without their knowledge.”
Edmonson said there are prescription periods or statues of limitations on such laws and that the district attorney in New Orleans would have to determine whether those statues were met.
“We just decide whether or not there are facts,” he said. “They decide whether or not prescription periods have taken place.”
Christopher Bowman, a public information officer for the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, declined comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.