On Friday, former New Orleans Saints security director Geoff Santini sued the team alleging that two “senior staff members” — who were not identified at the time — were involved with the stealing of prescription pain killers from the team’s drug cabinet and ordered him to keep quiet about it. Earlier today, Pro Football Talk reported that through anonymous sources they had determined that the two staff members are assistant head coach Joe Vitt and head coach Sean Payton.
According to the allegations — and that’s all they are at this point — and the Pro Football Talk report, Vitt has a “painful medial condition” and Payton does not. The lawsuit alleges that Payton (if he is indeed “Senior Staff Member A”) and Vitt (if he is “Senior Staff Member B”) were receiving enough of the painkiller Vicodin to constitute abuse. A more recent Pro Football Talk report contains a statement released by Payton saying he neither stole nor abused Vicodin. If the pieces are correctly aligned to this point and Payton is indeed “Senior Staff Member A”, the lawsuit has not accused him of actually stealing the pills anyway, only receiving enough to constitute abuse. Here is the Payton statement regarding the Vicodin issue, courtesy of Pro Football Talk.
“I have reviewed Geoff Santini’s lawsuit and the unwarranted publicity it has received. I have never abused or stolen vicodin or any other medication and I fully support the Saints’ position in this matter as expressed by Greg Bensel yesterday.”
Payton did not directly say whether or not he was indeed “Senior Staff Member A”, but certainly seems to be denying any involvement with the issue altogether at this point. We’ll see where this goes next.
Suit against New Orleans Saints alleges Vicodin thefts [Nola.com]
Sean Payton implicated in alleged Vicodin theft at Saints facility [Pro Football Talk]
Sean Payton denies abusing or stealing Vicodin [Pro Football Talk]