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Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay arrested for DUI, possession of illegal drugs

  1. Rob Cypher
    Colts owner Jim Irsay has been arrested in Carmel, Indiana on multiple charges.

    According to the Indianapolis Star, Irsay faces preliminary charges of “operating while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance.” Bond has been set at $22,500.

    Irsay is the first NFL owner to face criminal charges since Eddie DeBartolo relinquished control of the 49ers when it was learned that he was facing an indictment on federal racketeering charges in 1997. In 1998, DeBartolo pleaded guilty to failure to report a felony in connection with money allegedly paid to former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards to procure a riverboat gambling license.

    The NFL routinely imposes discipline on players and non-players who are convicted of or plead guilty to DUI charges. To have any credibility when punishing non-owners for such offenses, the NFL must be willing to impose discipline on owners, too.

    When players are arrested for drunk driving, one of the arguments raised is that they can afford to pay for a ride home. With a net worth of $1.6 billion, Irsay definitely can.

    Mike Florio
    March 17, 2014



  1. Basoodler
    Let's say that the NFL decides to suspend him. As a team owner, what exactly would he be suspended from?

    He isn't employed by the NFL in any conventional way.. I mean he invested large sums of money in a team and the league and as long as the NFL is making money he is entitled to his cut.

    His players on the other hand are employed and under contract. The contract they are bound to has guidelines that they must follow to protect the owners investment
  2. Rob Cypher
    Jim Irsay had pharmacy fill 120 prescriptions

    The owner of an Indianapolis pharmacy has given federal investigators records showing he filled 120 prescriptions over about a one-year period -- including the painkiller OxyContin -- for Colts owner Jim Irsay, the store's attorney said Monday.

    Records from Nora Apothecary show that all but one of the scripts were written by Dr. W. Gregory Chernoff, a prominent local plastic surgeon involved in a federal investigation into alleged prescription drug fraud.

    And in one 24-day period last spring, Irsay got 400 tablets of OxyContin: four prescriptions of 100 40-milligram tablets each, records show.

    The records of Nora Apothecary were obtained two months ago by the Drug Enforcement Administration as part of its investigation into alleged prescription drug fraud by local doctors, pharmacists and patients, said Ferd Samper, attorney for the pharmacy on the Far Northside.

    Charles H. Lindstrom, the pharmacy's owner, was granted immunity from prosecution by the U.S. attorney's office in exchange for his cooperation, Samper said.

    Lindstrom, through his attorney, maintains he was following doctor's orders and did nothing wrong.

    Federal and state laws say pharmacists have a responsibility to ensure that what they are dispensing won't hurt their patients.

    Irsay admitted last week he has sought treatment for an addiction to prescription painkillers. Law enforcement sources say Irsay and a handful of associates may be questioned in the investigation, though neither the DEA nor the U.S. attorney's office would comment on the investigation Monday.

    Nora Apothecary's records show Irsay received four OxyContin prescriptions from March 20 to April 12. All were written by Chernoff, a prominent Northside plastic surgeon who sources say is one of the doctors being scrutinized.

    Samper said that when Lindstrom received the prescriptions, the pharmacist called Chernoff two or three times and questioned the orders.

    Chernoff's answer, according to Samper, was that the prescriptions were legitimate and Irsay needed the medicine. Chernoff told Lindstrom he was trying to get Irsay off the medicine, Samper said.

    OxyContin is usually prescribed for chronic pain, according to the Food and Drug Administration. It contains an opioid with an addiction potential similar to that of morphine. Like morphine, it has a high potential for abuse, the FDA says.

    Dosage amounts of OxyContin vary by individual -- as little as 20 milligrams a day to as many as 300 milligrams, said Palmer MacKie, an assistant professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine and a physician at the Westside Health Center.

    But MacKie said 400 tablets at 40 milligrams over four weeks would be highly unusual and "easily" indicate an addiction.

    MacKie said that of his nearly 500 patients, he prescribes that dose for fewer than five. But patients can function in society with that kind of dosage if their body is used to it, he said.

    "If you didn't have any pain, the number one side effect would be constipation," MacKie said. "Then people get a variety of other things -- a little bit of mental slowing, central nervous system effects, which is what most people are after. You could go unconscious. If I took that much, if I were totally naive (to the drug), they would probably have to take me to the hospital."

    Lindstrom's pharmacy records show that besides OxyContin, Chernoff prescribed painkillers for Irsay such as Lorcet, Vicoprofen and Norco; Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug that can be addictive; Dexedrine, an amphetamine; and Klonopin, an anti-seizure medicine used for panic disorder.

    Chernoff is a plastic surgeon whose techniques in laser surgery have received attention on national newscasts and in newspapers as far away as The Sunday Times of London.

    Marion County Prosecutor Scott Newman acknowledged last week that Chernoff's records were sought by the DEA. Law enforcement sources have said Chernoff is not the only doctor being questioned, and Nora Apothecary is not the only pharmacy.

    Chernoff's lawyer, Larry Mackey, did not return phone calls Monday. Irsay's lawyer, Dan Luther, said Monday he has no reason to believe Irsay is the target of any investigation. He declined to comment further.

    Tom Casey, a spokesman for the DEA's Indianapolis office, said he could not confirm or deny an investigation. The DEA's Web site says there are currently two investigations in Indiana involving physicians diverting OxyContin through illegal prescribing.

    Lindstrom's immunity deal was signed Friday by Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler, Samper said. The parties are to meet this week with the DEA, Samper said.

    Tim Morrison, first assistant with the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, said the office could not comment on any aspect of the case.

    Lindstrom needed immunity from prosecution before cooperating because "the DEA thought he filled too many (prescriptions)," Samper said.

    Indiana law says pharmacists have a responsibility to fill all prescriptions unless they believe they are harming the patient or aiding and abetting an addiction. Further, federal and state laws say pharmacists must ensure they are not harming the patient.

    Gail Newton, an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Purdue University who practiced in Muncie, said pharmacists' obligations go beyond the law.

    Pharmacists don't sign a code of ethics, she said. But they define one of their main responsibilities as being a partner with a patient to ensure they get the most benefit and the least adverse effect from their medicine.

    "If I believe the patient may be in a problematic situation, I am bound to do anything in my power to intervene, including contacting the physician and contacting the patient," Newton said.

    Said Samper: "They can take (Lindstrom) before the pharmacy board, but my argument is the same. He filled the doctor's orders."

    R. Joseph Gelarden, Scott MacGregor and Bonnie Harris
    Indianapolis Star
    Nov. 19, 2002

  3. stryder09
    You realize that article is from 12 years ago, right?
  4. Rob Cypher
    Yep. It was reposted by the Indy Star yesterday to provide context for his alleged activities that occurred more recently.
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