Lee Zurik Investigation: ESPN's Loomis source fired by Saints in 2007

Published: Apr. 26, 2012 at 9:42 PM CDT|Updated: May. 2, 2012 at 4:49 AM CDT
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Tim Landry, former sound and electrical employee for the Saints
Tim Landry, former sound and electrical employee for the Saints

Multiple sources, including those close to the Saints and the Superdome, tell FOX 8 News a former sound and electrical worker for the Saints, Tim Landry, is the initial source who told ESPN's John Barr that Mickey Loomis' Superdome box had been secretly re-wired to listen in on visiting teams' coaching staffs.

We went by three homes owned by Landry or his wife on the North Shore -- he was never there.  When reached by phone, Landry told us he had no comment, saying, "There's nothing to say about it... keep me out of it."

Sources say ESPN's investigation of the Saints started with phone calls from reporter John Barr to a number of people with current and former ties to the Saints.  Former WWL radio reporter Kenny Wilkerson confirms to FOX 8 News that Barr called him, looking for information on Sean Payton.  Wilkerson tells us he gave Barr phone numbers for a number of people, including Tim Landry.

Our multiple sources say Landry told Barr about the alleged rewiring.  If true, legal experts say Loomis may have broken federal law.  However, legal experts also say that ESPN's source, Tim Landry, may have admitted he broke the law himself by being involved in the alleged rewiring.

Is Landry telling the truth?  Through our investigation, we haven't been able to prove it.   Some of the people we spoke with say Landry did not provide ESPN with any evidence, other than his word that the re-wiring happened.  Our sources say the ESPN report relied on two or three unnamed sources, one of which we have now identified as Tim Landry.  Also through our investigation, a person close to Landry told us one other ESPN source worked with Landry.

A source says the FBI does not have a full-scale investigation going on, but has started asking questions.  This week, sources say they have interviewed Kenny Wilkerson and former Saints security director Geoff Santini.  We have not been able to determine if they have interviewed Tim Landry yet.

What we have found out is that the Saints terminated Landry in 2007.  Sources close to the team and the Superdome say the Saints accused Landry of using their equipment for non-team events, and they found that he gave them improper billings.  After those findings, the Saints fired Landry from his contract job.

So, according to our sources, the ESPN report is based on the word of a former Saints contract employee who was fired, and possibly one or two people who worked with that contract employee, Tim Landry -- and none were able to provide proof, other than their word, that Loomis and Landry may have committed a federal crime.

The Saints say they would have no comment on our story.

We do think it's important to address one more thing: the fact that Tom Benson, the owner of the Saints, also owns this TV station.

FOX 8 News was not asked to look into this report by Benson or the Saints.