Roger Goodell says no action taken against Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft until case is resolved
New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft’s case has been suspended indefinitely in the courts, and the NFL doesn’t seem any closer to coming to a decision of its own on the Patriots owner.
League commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday he will wait until Kraft’s legal battle is resolved before making his own decisions on the owner, who faces misdemeanor charges for solicitation of prostitution at a Jupiter, Fla., massage parlor on Jan. 19 and 20.
Goodell said the NFL’s priority is “getting all the facts.”
“Of course we’ll be gathering our own facts and trying to understand what actually transpired, as we would in any case,” Goodell told reporters.
Goodell added, “There’s a (court) proceeding going on, we’ll wait until that proceeding is concluded,” according to the Washington Post via ProFootballTalk.com.
The prosecution has been stayed pending appeal of the ruling suppressing the surveillance video from introduction into evidence at trial.
It could be two years, maybe more, before the appeals courts in Florida provide a final answer as to whether the surveillance video will or won’t be available for use at trial. A potential last-ditch effort to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court would create even more delay.
Kraft entered a not guilty plea on both misdemeanor charges.
Kraft could still face discipline from the NFL even if the charges are dropped. The league’s Personal Conduct Policy, which applies to all personnel, grants Goodell broad latitude in determining what constitutes a violation.
The policy lists 13 specific violations, but includes a 14th that serves as a catch-all for the commissioner. The league can issue discipline for “conduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity of the NFL, NFL clubs, or NFL personnel.”