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Saints hit by eavesdropping allegations

April 24, 2012 at 7:59 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, April 24 (UPI) -- Louisiana authorities said Tuesday they're probing allegations the New Orleans Saints had the capability to eavesdrop on opposing coaches for years.

Louisiana State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson told CNN his department is assisting the FBI in looking into a complaint that General Manager Mickey Loomis rewired a recording system in his Superdome suite so it could pick up the conversations of opponents' coaches.

"By placing an investigator with the FBI team, we'll go through the allegations and see where they take us. All we have now are allegations of illegal use of wiretapping and eavesdropping," Edmonson told the broadcaster.

He confirmed the allegations involved Loomis.

Citing "sources familiar with Saints game-day operations," ESPN reported Monday the complaint alleges Loomis set up a listening device capable of eavesdropping from 2002 to 2004.

ESPN, however, said it was unclear whether Loomis actually ever used the system.

If Loomis listened in on opposing coaches, it could be interpreted as a violation of state and federal wiretapping laws, but Louisiana has a six-year statute of limitations in such cases, which could have expired, NFL.com reported.

"This is 1,000 percent false. This is 1,000 percent inaccurate," Greg Bensel, Saints vice president of communications, said Monday on behalf of the Saints and Loomis.

Interim Saints head Coach Joe Vitt told reporters Tuesday the report was "ludicrous."

"That's something from 'Star Wars,'" Vitt said.

Loomis was slapped with an eight-game suspension this year for his role in the Saints' bounty scandal.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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