Broncos fans eagerly awaiting the start of training camp this month were not likely happy with the news about their team; especially compared to last year (when Peyton Manning returned after sitting out the 2011 season). Instead, they are hearing about irresponsibility at high levels of the organization.
Matt Russell, who serves as one of John Elway’s top lieutenants as director of player personnel, was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Summit County over the weekend. According to several media accounts, Russell allegedly hit a car in Frisco and reportedly fled the scene of the crash. He also is accused of rear-ending a Breckenridge police SUV minutes after the first crash.
Media reports also indicate that Russell failed a field sobriety test and registered a .246 BAC after taking a breathalzyer test at the scene.
News of Russell’s arrest has become a public relations nightmare for the Broncos, after director of pro personnel Tom Heckert was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving last month. With 39 players arrested across the NFL and the recent ordeal involving Aaron Hernandez, Broncos executives do not want additional media scrutiny.
Russell and Heckert are subject to discipline by the Broncos and the NFL, but it remains to be seen whether they will be fined, suspended or both. Nevertheless, they both face severe consequences under Colorado law. Drunk driving convictions can be punished with thousands of dollars in fines and assessments, and offenders could be required to install ignition interlock systems in their vehicles.
There is no report as to whether Russell or Heckert have obtained legal counsel, but an experienced criminal defense attorney would review all the facts and advise them of the legal options they had in challenging the charges.
Source: DenverPost.com, Tom Heckert, another Broncos exec, arrested on DUI charges in Parker, July 10, 2013