Lee Zurik Investigation: Findings cast doubt on ESPN wiretap story

Tim Landry
Tim Landry

State police findings call into question the ESPN report that launched both the state and federal investigations into the Saints eavesdropping allegations.

Back in May, we reported one source for ESPN was a former Saints game day employee who was fired by the team after accusations of improper billings.

Henry Salassi worked for that former Saints game day worker.  Tim Landry has employed Salassi since the 1990's.  It's Landry who sources told us provided the tip to ESPN reporter John Barr alleging Mickey Loomis' pre-Katrina Superdome box had been re-wired, so Loomis could listen in on visiting teams' coaches.

Salassi does much of the wiring for Landry, but says he never touched Loomis' box.

Sources say state police and the FBI talked to many potential witnesses -- none corroborated the story Landry told ESPN.   Witnesses interviewed included former Landry employees and Geoff Santini, a former FBI agent and former security director for the Saints.

Tim Landry would never answer our questions about the allegations.  We tried to track him down and finally did, on the phone, but he gave us no comment, saying, "There's nothing to say about it.  Keep me out of it."

State police have concluded that those allegations to be untrue -- allegations Landry's employee says he was unaware of, until ESPN ran its story back in the spring.

The FBI has not said anything about its investigation.  But it's important to note that state police and the FBI have been working together throughout this investigation.