SACRAMENTO -- The Luke Walton situation isn’t going away anytime soon.
After two days of back and forth between accuser Kelli Tennant and her attorney and Walton’s representation, the Sacramento Kings and the NBA have announced a joint investigation into Tennant's allegations of sexual assault against Walton.
KINGS AND NBA ANNOUNCE JOINT INVESTIGATION
-- Team Hires Independent Investigator --
Sacramento, CA – The Sacramento Kings and the National Basketball Association announced today that they have commenced a joint investigation into the allegations contained in a civil lawsuit filed Monday against Kings Head Coach Luke Walton.
The Kings have hired Sue Ann Van Dermyden, founding partner of Sacramento law firm Van Dermyden Maddux, who is an expert on employment law with decades of experience in conducting investigations, and Jennifer Doughty, a veteran investigator and senior associate attorney at Van Dermyden Maddux. They will lead the Kings investigatory team.
The NBA's investigatory team will be led by Elizabeth Maringer, Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Integrity and Investigations. Prior to joining the NBA, Ms. Maringer served 12 years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, including three as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.
The Kings and the NBA take these allegations very seriously and will collaborate to conduct a complete and thorough investigation.
It appears that the Kings are ready to wait out the process. Walton signed a four-year contract to become the team’s new head coach on April 15. A week later, Tennant, a former broadcaster for Spectrum SportsNet, filed a civil suit against Walton in a Southern California court.
The initial incident, which allegedly took place in 2014, occurred while Walton was an assistant coach on the Golden State Warriors staff. During Tennant's press conference on Tuesday, she alleged Walton engaged in continued inappropriate behavior all the way up to 2017, while he served as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to a league source, it is too early to give an estimation on how long this may last, but the investigation has already commenced.