King County Sheriff blasts NFL over Josh Brown
In announcing they were going to re-open their investigation into the domestic abuse history of New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, the NFL claimed the King County (Wash.) Sheriff’s Office denied any overtures made by the league to learn more about the case and allegations against Brown.
Sheriff John Urquhart fired back at the NFL in an interview with Dori Monson on KIRO 97.3-FM in Seattle on Thursday.
“I don’t like to get pushed around by a bully,” Urquhart said.
The NFL said in a statement Thursday that repeated attempts to seek cooperation from the Sheriff’s Office were denied.
Because the case against Brown was an open investigation, the Sheriff’s Office was not going to release case files. Urquhart said they never received any written requests from anyone claiming to be a representative of the NFL. He said four days after the incident with Brown opened an investigation, the Sheriff’s Office received a public disclosure request from a Robert Agnew from a generic Comcast.net email address. Another request came from Agnew months later where he again didn’t state his affiliation.
“Nowhere on the request does he say that he works for the NFL and so, we don’t know that it’s the NFL and we’re not gonna give it out anyway, so we denied it,” Urquhart said. “... To our discredit, perhaps, we didn’t use the Google, to Google this guy’s name. Turns out that he is a security representative based in Seattle for the NFL. But he never told us that. The NFL never told us that. At no time has the NFL ever filed a written request - public disclosure request - for any of these files. Period. It’s never happened.”
A different league representative did make calls to the Sheriff’s Office seeking the case file. She was also denied multiple times due to the fact the case was an open investigation. A Seattle police officer claiming to represent the league also asked for the files and was denied as well.
Urquhart said if the league had gone through proper public disclosure channels, the request would have come to his desk and a conversation with the league about the situation could have been more fruitful.
“I would have said exactly the same thing, ‘We cannot release the case file.’ But since this is a hot-button item in the NFL, since it’s the NFL, we probably would have told them orally a little bit more about what we had.” he said. “But we don’t have them calling us here. We’ve got some goofus from Woodinville named Rob Agnew asking for the case file. We have no idea who he is.”
“We would have told them… ‘Be careful, NFL, don’t rush into this. This case is blossoming way more than what happened on May 22nd of 2015. We’re getting more information, be careful,’” he said. “Again, we’re not gonna give them specifics but we certainly would have cautioned the NFL to be careful about what they were going to do.”
Urquhart said he was unhappy with the NFL’s placing blame on his department for the NFL not knowing enough about the case.
“I don’t like the NFL taking shots at the sheriff’s office when it’s not deserved,” Urquhart said. “It’s real simple.”
“I’ll give them credit, they did not have all the information. There’s no question about that,” he said. “And, frankly, I’m not criticizing them for only giving him a one-day suspension based on what they knew. What he was arrested for, in the scheme of things, was relatively minor but obviously there was much more under the surface that apparently they did not know and we couldn’t tell them.
“But for them to say it’s our fault — and it’s not our fault any more than it’s their fault when you get right down to it — for them to say it’s our fault that they only gave them a one-day suspension, that’s just not true. That’s what I object to.”