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Saints Hope Investigator Will Find Them 'Freeh' & Clear Of Trouble

The New Orleans Saints hope an internal investigation finds Mickey Loomis and everyone else in the organization not guilty of any wrongdoing.The New Orleans Saints hope an internal investigation finds Mickey Loomis and everyone else in the organization not guilty of any wrongdoing.

DENVER -- To borrow loosely from a biblical passage, New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson is hoping -- and banking -- that his scandal-riddled franchise will be set Freeh by the truth.

As in Louis Freeh, the former FBI director and federal judge whose investigative group was hired by Benson in April to conduct an internal investigation into wiretapping allegations aired by ESPN against General Manager Mickey Loomis.

The spotlight shined brightly Thursday on Freeh and his group's eight-month investigation into the Penn State football program under former coach Joe Paterno and the criminal wrongdoing of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who is awaiting sentencing on 45 counts of child sexual abuse charges.

Freeh filed a 267-page report with the university that included an analysis of 3.5 million emails and documents and interviews with more than 400 current and former school employees associated with the Nittany Lions' football program.

His findings were damning to say the least. The exhaustive report alleges that Paterno and three other high-ranking school officials conspired to cover up Sandusky's behavior in order to avoid bad publicity for the university and to protect the squeaky-clean image of Paterno and his football program.

Freeh's work in New Orleans is focusing primarily on the wiretapping allegations, though his group also may delve into the team's pay-for-performance program commonly known as the "Bounty scandal.''

"We hired (Freeh) to investigate the ESPN wiretapping allegations by ESPN -- it is ongoing,'' Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said in an email Thursday to SportsNOLA.com. "It is our internal investigation and decisions have not been made regarding the findings.''

In May, Bensel said Freeh's group had been given "complete access to our team and all of the individuals who have been associated with this news story'' and Benson will "spare no expense to get to the bottom of these allegations.''

Bensel did not specify in that email to Pro Football Talk if Freeh's investigation focused only on the wiretapping allegations against Loomis.

By the time Freeh's investigation run its course in New Orleans, it will be anything but free. His bill to the Penn State board of trustees is an estimated $6.5 million.


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