The NFL announced this afternoon that they’d be reopening their investigation regarding Josh Brown’s 2015 domestic violence arrest. In their announcement, the NFL blamed the King County (Wash.) Sheriff’s Office for being uncooperative with “repeated” requests for records and information. As they told it:
NFL investigators made repeated attempts — both orally and in writing — to obtain any and all evidence and relevant information in this case from the King County Sheriff’s Office. Each of those requests was denied and the Sheriff’s Office declined to provide any of the requested information, which ultimately limited our ability to fully investigate this matter. We concluded our own investigation, more than a year after the initial incident, based on the facts and evidence available to us at the time and after making exhaustive attempts to obtain information in a timely fashion. It is unfortunate that we did not have the benefit or knowledge of these materials at the time.
King County Sheriff John Urquhart was not happy with the NFL’s characterization of his department, and he called out the league for its own shoddy investigative work in a radio interview today on KIRO. As it turns out, Rob Agnew, the NFL’s investigator, never said that he was with the NFL when he asked for Brown’s case file and didn’t use an NFL email address. So the sheriff’s office denied his request because, as Urquhart put it, “We had no idea who this yokel is.”
He says that his office might have told the NFL a bit more had they known that Agnew wasn’t just “some goofus.”
“I would have said exactly the same thing, ‘We cannot release the case file.’ But since this is a hot-button item in the NFL, since it’s the NFL, we probably would have told them orally a little bit more about what we had …” he said. “We’ve got some goofus from Woodinville named Rob Agnew asking for the case file. We have no idea who he is.”
Throughout the interview, Urquhart lists all the ways in which the NFL investigation was not much of an investigation. He said they got phone calls from a woman telling them she was with NFL security, but they told her the same thing—it was an open investigation. They said the same thing to a Seattle police officer who reached out saying he worked for the NFL.
He added that the league never submitted a formal public records request clearly from the NFL, saying: “At no time has the NFL ever filed a written request, public disclosure request for any of these files. Period. It’s never happened.”
Urquhart said he spoke out because he didn’t like how the NFL was acting like a bully, blaming his office when they did nothing wrong. This is the same league that, when previous questions about the same investigation came up, blamed the battered woman involved. The tactic remains the same, blame everyone except themselves, but at least the NFL is morbidly consistent.
The full audio can be found over at MyNorthwest.