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Posted at 12:55 PM ET, 12/29/2010

NFL fines Brett Favre $50,000 for lack of cooperation in investigation

By Cindy Boren

favrephilly.jpg
Brett Favre on Tuesday night in Philadelphia. (Jim McIsaac / Star Tribune)

Updated at 3:09 p.m.

The NFL has fined Brett Favre $50,000 for lack of cooperation with its investigation into improper emails and text messages he allegedly sent Jenn Sterger when both were employed by the New York Jets two years ago.

The league, however, said it could find no violation of its personal conduct policy by Favre, who, at 41, has said that this will be his final season. He has admitted leaving voice messages for Sterger, but the league said its forensic analysis could not determine whether he sent lewd photos to her. Sterger's representative blasted the news of the fine.

"My client and I are extremely disappointed, but not surprised, at today's NFL announcement that Brett Favre did not violate the NFL 'workplace conduct' policy," Sterger's lawyer, Joseph Conway, said in a statement. "While I am not privy to how [NFL Commissioner] Mr. Goodell reached such a finding, we strongly disagree with his conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to support a violation of the policy.

"To the contrary, our evidence and the personal testimony of Ms. Sterger clearly showed a pattern of lewd and offensive behavior by Mr. Favre that lasted all of the 2008 season. As noted in the NFL's release, 'there was no evidence to suggest that Sterger engaged in any inappropriate conduct.' In addition to the offensive messages, there was ample evidence to show that the sexually explicit photographs were part of Favre's inappropriate behavior. Our evidence clearly showed that the photos were sent by Favre."

The league's statement:

The NFL office conducted an investigation to determine whether Brett Favre's interaction with New York Jets game-day employee Jenn Sterger in 2008 violated the NFL Personal Conduct Policy.
In reviewing the matter, the sole focus was on whether there was a violation of league policies regarding conduct in the workplace. NFL policies do not extend to private conduct or make judgments about the appropriateness of personal relationships, except where that conduct or those relationships raise issues under the law or league policies.
The investigation included an analysis of publicly available reports; a series of interviews with knowledgeable individuals, including Sterger and Favre; a review of communications between the two furnished to our office; and independent forensic analysis of electronically stored material. The investigation was limited in several respects because the conduct occurred in 2008 but was not brought to our attention until this fall. As a result, certain records and individuals were unavailable to the NFL.
The investigation also reviewed a second media report about allegations involving other women who worked at the Jets' facility in 2008. Misconduct by Favre regarding that claim was unable to be substantiated because individuals with potentially relevant information declined to be interviewed or otherwise cooperate with the investigation. In addition, our investigation took longer than might ordinarily have been the case due to difficulties in arranging to speak with certain key individuals, the time required to retrieve and review stored electronic records, and Commissioner Roger Goodell's decision to meet personally with both Favre and Sterger before making a decision.
On the basis of the evidence currently available to him, Commissioner Goodell could not conclude that Favre violated league policies relating to workplace conduct. The forensic analysis could not establish that Favre sent the objectionable photographs to Sterger. The review found no evidence to contradict the statements of both Favre and Sterger that they never met in person, nor was there anything to suggest that Sterger engaged in any inappropriate conduct.
However, Commissioner Goodell also determined that Favre was not candid in several respects during the investigation, resulting in a longer review and additional negative public attention for Favre, Sterger, and the NFL. The commissioner notified Favre that he has been fined $50,000 for his failure to cooperate with the investigation in a forthcoming manner. Commissioner Goodell stated to Favre that if he had found a violation of the league's workplace conduct policies, he would have imposed a substantially higher level of discipline.
In a memo to clubs today, Commissioner Goodell reminded them of the serious nature of this matter and stated that NFL policies make no excuses for improper or potentially unlawful conduct in the workplace. "Every member of every club's staff should be able to work in an environment free of harassment or hostility, and one in which every employee is valued, respected, and given a full opportunity to contribute to the goals of the club and the NFL," Commissioner Goodell said. "Our new training program on workplace conduct will help all of us to promote the right kind of environment for all employees and I intend to dedicate the fine I have imposed on Favre to help fund that training program."

By Cindy Boren  | December 29, 2010; 12:55 PM ET
Categories:  Brett Favre, NFL  
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Comments

The NFL should have suspended Favre for all of the 2011 season.

Posted by: redclaws | December 29, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

nonsense.

Posted by: docwhocuts | December 29, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Roger Goodell's ego run amok once again.

Posted by: OttoOrange | December 29, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

What happened to the constitutional right that protects even NFL icons from self-incrimination? Give me a break. While 50 grand is walking-around change for Favre, I question the fine.
NFL, like all corporate entities these days, is engaged in political correctness. It is apt to ruin the game, to say nothing of the society as a whole.
I am not defending sending lewd photos to anyone. Really? But was all of this investigation necessary? Next thing we know Goodell will be calling in Ken Starr as special prosecutor.

Posted by: royhobbs56 | December 29, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Translation: Dude, how could you have been so stupid? Well, I gotta do SOMETHING for the sake of PR...

Posted by: peauxsucent888 | December 29, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Wow, sounds like a page from the totalitarian handbook -- fine someone for not "cooperating" in an investigation that could result in sanctions against that person. Guess there is no 5th Amendment protection in the NFL from Commisar Goodell.

Posted by: Natmeister | December 29, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

What happened to the constitutional right that protects even NFL icons from self-incrimination? Give me a break. While 50 grand is walking-around change for Favre, I question the fine.
NFL, like all corporate entities these days, is engaged in political correctness. It is apt to ruin the game, to say nothing of the society as a whole.
I am not defending sending lewd photos to anyone. Really? But was all of this investigation necessary? Next thing we know Goodell will be calling in Ken Starr as special prosecutor.

Posted by: royhobbs56 | December 29, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Favre has ground to appeal the fine as there is no proof of anything and last time I checked, the accused was not required to incriminate himself at any level.

Posted by: neil64 | December 29, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Even for a Mississippian, Brett's not bright.

Posted by: Davidd1 | December 29, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Let's not confuse NFL policy with the legal system. Favre has no "5th amendment right" with regards to a company policy. The NFL's investigation is not a criminal investigation. If Sterger really feels wronged, then she needs to hire a lawyer and file a complaint, or sue Favre in civil court. Then he can consider his "5th Amnedment" rights, plus any other Constitutional rights. This is just a contract matter. When he became an NFL player, he signed a contract that requires him to comply with league policy as determined by the League, or face the penalties.

Posted by: allknowingguy | December 29, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Why don't we let this bimbo do what the other bimbo did and go exploit this for money. A coworker said all athletes are idiots and I replied "Don't forget the blonde idiots who chase them." It amazes me ho so called "upset" women sit on this stuff for years or turn up on all the chat shows claiming "I'm doing this for other women" BULLSH@@@@!

ESPN didn't start hiring "regular" women until the backlash over the bimbo Erin Andrews getting the College Gameday job because she was naked on the net, did Dancin w/Stars, on Oprah etc. Would her resume have given her that job over other ESPN female analysts...NOT? Erin didn't deserve what the man did but she didn't haave to exploit it either. I lost all respect for her.

Fox News here in B more keeps hiring blonde white women to do the sports. I have a hard believing other women weren't qualified!!!! Leave the athletes alone because the bimbos want them for husbands anyway. Tiger chose a blonde nanny over a Stanford girl hahahahaha...ok Elin got what she deserved....

Posted by: MDlady2 | December 29, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Brett's number is finally up. The sexting is just jersey# 4 play!

Posted by: Badger21 | December 29, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Just go away, Brett. You've lived out your welcome.

Posted by: rpcv84 | December 29, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Just go away, Brett. You've lived out your welcome.

Posted by: rpcv84 | December 29, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

So, the NFL fines Favre for not helping them trash him?
Talk about a ridiculous action.

Posted by: OttoDog | December 29, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

The entire episode was pathetic. He should just quietly fade into history and make whatever amends he has to with Deanna.

Posted by: grobinette | December 29, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Not guilty, but fined $50 grand anyway, evidently for not kissing the commissioner's posterior. This is the same wussie who cancelled a football game because of a few snowflakes in Philly. Guess this bureaucrat had to find some way to reduce the big bucks lost because of the cancellation.

Posted by: Spiritof761 | December 29, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Brett Favre's willful refusal to voluntarily cooperate in good faith with the NFL's investigation could be construed as a tacit admission by Favre that he did in fact violate the league's workplace harassment policies by sending Jenn Sterger sexually explicit text messages and nude photos of his torrid zone. NFL Commish Roger Goodell's decision to fine Favre $50,000 is justified under the circumstances.

Favre is a clumsy fool who needlessly embarassed his wife and daughters if the Sterger allegations are true, but his family has clearly forgiven him and the public has learned yet again that star athletes aren't necessarily the best role models.

Brett Favre is moving on, and so should everyone else.

Posted by: SeaShark | December 29, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Brett Favre's willful refusal to voluntarily cooperate in good faith with the NFL's investigation could be construed as a tacit admission by Favre that he did in fact violate the league's workplace harassment policies by sending Jenn Sterger sexually explicit text messages and nude photos of his torrid zone. NFL Commish Roger Goodell's decision to fine Favre $50,000 is justified under the circumstances.

Favre is a clumsy fool who needlessly embarassed his wife and daughters if the Sterger allegations are true, but his family has clearly forgiven him and the public has learned yet again that star athletes aren't necessarily the best role models.

Brett Favre is moving on, and so should everyone else.

Posted by: SeaShark | December 29, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Brett Favre's willful refusal to voluntarily cooperate in good faith with the NFL's investigation could be construed as a tacit admission by Favre that he did in fact violate the league's workplace harassment policies by sending Jenn Sterger sexually explicit text messages and nude photos of his torrid zone. NFL Commish Roger Goodell's decision to fine Favre $50,000 is justified under the circumstances.

Favre is a clumsy fool who needlessly embarassed his wife and daughters if the Sterger allegations are true, but his family has clearly forgiven him and the public has learned yet again that star athletes aren't necessarily the best role models.

Brett Favre is moving on, and so should everyone else.

Posted by: SeaShark | December 29, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

The trollop and her 'law'yer are seeing their BIG PAYDAY go "buh, bye".

Posted by: NOTINFL | December 29, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Well, the NFL's conclusion was probably that the "lady" in question was either not offended by or actively welcomed Brett's advances (personally, I suspect the latter), and if it's consensual, it's not sexual harassment, but for the sake of appearances, they had to fine the old hound dog something. Bye, Brett, I'll miss both the melodrama and those beautiful rainbow passes of yours.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | December 29, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

A more calculating accuser you'd be hard pressed to find. A more worthy victim you'd be hard pressed to find.

Posted by: citizen625 | December 29, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

If Farve had just had the class and maturity to retire the FIRST time around--what, it's about 3 years ago now?--he could've gone out on a high note with a great record and a decent reputation. Long ago I tired of his embarrassing vacillations and lost respect for a man who once seemed so well put together.

Now, regardless of the allegations' veracity, he's stuck with the indignity of this mess--as is his family--AND he's going out (Finally? For real?) as a hobbling has-been.

Sad.

Posted by: EdgewoodVA | December 29, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Whoops--make that "Favre," not "Farve."

If it matters.

Posted by: EdgewoodVA | December 29, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Get him out here. Get the NFL out of your television set. Sick decision.

Posted by: Annandale | December 29, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Goodell has lost all credibility with this puny slap on the wrist.

Posted by: jwmorrison | December 29, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Big Ben "cooperated fully" with Roger G, and got hit with a fine, suspended and was forced to undergo treatment even though the police and prosecutors believed his story and not the accuser's version (i.e. no charges were filed). Perhaps Brett saw the fruitlessness of "cooperating fully," as yet another woman tried to make $$ from her association with a pro athlete.

Posted by: funnntimez | December 29, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Goodell had a concussion. He should have banned Vick. Brett is not a felon.

Posted by: Hocake3 | December 29, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I hope this lady takes Farve to civil court and gets millions...that spiny commish didn't have the guts to suspend Farve knowing he will probably not be back...same for his coach who should have benched him before he got fired...

Posted by: pentagon40 | December 30, 2010 2:08 AM | Report abuse

What happened to the constitutional right that protects even NFL icons from self-incrimination?

That doesn't apply to private contracts, only to the government.

Posted by: markfromark | December 30, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

I hope he can afford to pay the fine :)

Posted by: fearturtle44 | December 30, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

seriously, who cares? This is classic example of media blowing things out of proportion and the NFL feeling the need to stick their nose in it. The NFL should mind their own business and worry about football. This is not newsworthy; I don't care about scandals, I care about sports and football. SHAME ON YOU Washington Post for continuing to report this attention-seeking crap. For a newspaper that wins Pulitzer prizes for journalism, I expect better. I mean, is this a way of making up for your over-coverage of the redskins? Lame.

Posted by: sussman1 | December 30, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

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