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Security Director Says Saints Forced Him|to Quit by Covering Up Thefts of Vicodin

NEW ORLEANS (CN) - The New Orleans Saints' former security director sued the NFL team, saying he was constructively fired after being ordered to "overlook" a felony - the theft of Vicodin by an unidentified team member. Geoffrey Santini says that before working for the Saints he retired from the FBI after 31 years in law enforcement, with a "reputation for honesty and integrity was above reproach."

Santini claims in Jefferson Parish Court that the Saints constructively fired him on Aug. 28, 2009.

Santini claims the Saints head trainer Scottie Patton told him on April 28, 2009 that Vicodin was missing from the team's drug locker.

Santini says Patton told him that Vicodin had turned up missing when the amounts on hand were compared with amounts logged as having been dispensed from January through April that year.

Santini says a large number of pills were recorded as having been dispensed to two unnamed senior staff members: "Senior Staff Member A" (SSMA) and "Senior Staff Member B" (SSMB).

Santini says he asked why such large quantities of the painkiller were distributed to the two staff members, and was told that SSMB had a painful medical condition, but SSMA did not.

After this conversation, Santini says, he and Patton met with Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis. Santini says that Patton told Loomis, in his presence, that "Someone is stealing Vicodin."

"Patton, in response to a question from GM Loomis, repeated that it was abuse, and when informed that it was to be addressed in a forthcoming physical with Dr. Amoss, stated that he wanted to speak with Dr. Amoss before then because Loomis needed to know if SSMA's use of Vicodin was abuse," according to the complaint.

"During the meeting," the complaint states, "GM Loomis approved of the placement of concealed cameras in the room containing the drug cabinet with a new, full, bottle of Vicodin placed in the cabinet as bait."

Santini says he told Loomis that theft of Vicodin was a felony, and that the person responsible should be prosecuted, to cover the NFL for it audit requirements. Santini says, "GM Loomis agreed."

By midnight that day, two cameras were installed in the drug cabinet area, according to the complaint.

The next morning, Santini says, he was told that 12 Vicodin pills had been removed from the bottle in the cabinet. But the pills had been taken before the cameras were installed, so a new bottle was put in the cabinet.

By the following morning, Santini says, he was told that eight pills were missing from the new bottle of 100 pills.

A review of the video showed that SSMB had "illegally entered the room ... with a set of keys to the drug cabinet and removed some pills from the Vicodin bottle," according to the complaint.

Santini says he told Loomis he would need a copy of the video for use during the NFL audit, but Loomis told him, "No, this is not a criminal investigation."

He says Loomis added that he should "'let it go,' in effect instructing the plaintiff to allow the destruction of evidence of a felony."

Santini says the hidden cameras recorded SSMB stealing Vicodin again, and trying unsuccessfully to steal it another time, and that "On Monday, May 4, 2009, GM Loomis directed that the cameras be shut down."

They were, Santini says.

He claims that on June 16, Patton told him "that GM Loomis directed that the drug records be changed to cover up the theft of Vicodin as follows:"

There follows about 2 pages, apparently taken from a transcript, in which Santini is reported as saying, among other things: "Here is my concern ... OK number one he committed multiple felonies OK you know that." (Ellipsis and punctuation as in complaint.)

Santini says that on June 23, 2009, he "reported the situation as known to plaintiff at this juncture in the events to U.S. Attorney Jim Letten."

Santini says he provided NFL "security representatives" with more information, at their request, on July 30, for which Loomis "loudly and publicly castigated" him the next day.

He says he gave the Saints two weeks notice on Aug. 16, and that he "resigned because of both the individual events and patterns of events which he was directed to engage in and/or overlook, which would have constituted state and federal felonies had he acquiesced or participated."

Santini seeks reinstatement, lost pay, costs and benefits and damages for constructive discharge, harassment and retaliation. He is represented by Donald Hyatt II.

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