The Freeh Group Will Investigate The Saints NextS

Freeh Group International Solutions—the firm that just dumped 267 pages of dirt on Penn State—isn't done internally investigating embattled football programs. On June 8, nola.com reported Saints ownership had hired former FBI honcho Louis Freeh's consulting and investigations firm to look into two things: the bounty scandal that led to suspensions for Gregg Williams, Sean Payton, Jonathan Vilma and others, and the more tenuous allegations of general manager Mickey Loomis's seven-year-old wiretapping habit.

The wiretapping case came to light in an April 24 report from Outside the Lines, which cited a bunch of unnamed sources. On June 13, NFL.com reported that the case was still open, and that authorities still had to determine whether charges could be brought on existing evidence:

Louisiana State Police reiterated Wednesday that the wiretapping case against New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis is still open, and investigators are determining if there's enough evidence to bring charges, state police Cmd. Doug Cain told NFL.com.

The state police will not be alone in their search. Nola.com:

"Serious allegations have been made about our organization this offseason," Saints Vice President of Communications Greg Bensel said via email June 8. "We take these allegations very seriously. As a result, we have hired the Freeh Group, founded by former director of the FBI and former federal judge Louis Freeh. Mr. Benson moved quickly to hire them and has spared no expense to get to the bottom of these allegations."

The investigation, which has now stretched for more than three months, is still ongoing, Bensel confirmed Thursday. As a private entity, however, the Saints would not be under the same obligation or pressure to release the report to the public as Penn State, a public institution.

The Saints declined to comment on how the results of the Freeh Group's investigation will be handled once the firm consolidates its findings.

So it could just be one big tease, intended to appease the NFL—for all we know, the Freeh Group will find reams of evidence that Saints GM Mickey Loomis had been eavesdropping on opponents, Tom Benson will decline to release it, and they'll look a little better for having commissioned an independent investigation. Still, if the Penn State investigation is any indication, Freeh and his bloodhounds are nothing if not thorough, and have no compunction about blaming the parties that commissioned them.

Freeh Group's investigation of New Orleans Saints ongoing [NOLA.com]