While at least one observer has claimed the lawsuit by former New Orleans head of security George Santini accusing head coach Sean Payton and assistant coach Joe Vitt of vicodin theft isn’t getting nearly enough mainstream coverage, said story is getting tougher to ignore. Interviewed Wednesday by USA Today’s Glen Guilbeau, Santini alleges Saints GM Mickey Loomis (above) sought to cover up Payton and Vitt’s involvement.
“I thought I had saved it. I thought we had it (the felony theft of prescription Vicodin from the Saints’ medicine cabinet and subsequent cover-up) stopped,” the ex-FBI agent said last week in his only extended interview since filing a lawsuit on April 30.
“I was witnessing crimes, and I wasn’t going to stand for that,” he said. “I did everything I could to save the people that were involved, but it just didn’t go that way. Mickey didn’t let it.”
Santini gave the interview last Friday at the law offices of his attorney Donald Hyatt II. He resigned from the Saints effective on Aug. 29.
The 13-page lawsuit mentions Loomis’ name nearly 50 times and refers to Senior Staff Member B ” who Santini says is Saints’ assistant head coach Joe Vitt” and Senior Staff Member A ” who Santini says is head coach Sean Payton” and numbers the stolen or unaccounted Vicodin pills at 130.
Santini says surveillance cameras caught Vitt removing the pills from the medicine cabinet last spring at the facility. The lawsuit alleges that Saints head trainer Scottie Patton said Vitt has a medical condition requiring the pain relieving narcotic that can emit a feeling of euphoria and can be addictive. Payton did not have a medical condition calling for the drug, Patton said.
“I thought I had it straightened out, but things turned around in a different way,” Santini said. “It moved to protecting Sean Payton. Now I can’t go into all of that. There’s more than just this (lawsuit).”