Prosecutors charged Colts owner Jim Irsay with two misdemeanor counts Friday stemming from his intoxicated driving arrest near his home in Noblesville, Ind., in March.
Hamilton County prosecutors said Irsay was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance or its metabolite in the body, which carry maximum penalties of 60 days in jail and $500 fines for each count. A probable cause affidavit said Irsay was driving under the influence of oxycodone and/or hydrocodone, both powerful painkillers.
Irsay was arrested near his home at about 3 a.m. March 16 with $29,000 in cash and bottles of prescription drugs in his vehicle. Police said Irsay denied being drunk and told an officer he had taken several prescription medications during the day. A police report said the 54-year-old billionaire was so disoriented that officers made him sit on the hood of a patrol car to keep him from falling, and that he had trouble reciting the alphabet.
Police had filed four preliminary felony counts of possession of a controlled substance, charges that each carried possible sentences of six months to three years in prison. Prosecutors took weeks before deciding to file the misdemeanor charges instead.
The Indianapolis law office representing Irsay, Voyles, Zahn, & Paul, released a statement thanking the prosecutor’s office for its professionalism in handing the investigation and ‘‘for devoting the necessary care and attention to determine the facts in this matter did not warrant the filing of felony charges relative to Mr. Irsay’s prescription medications.’’
Colts spokesman Avis Roper declined to comment and NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is still reviewing the matter.
‘‘The NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy applies to all league personnel and holds all of us accountable. We are reviewing the matter and will take appropriate action in accordance with the policy,’’ he said in an email.
There are few examples of the league punishing an owner like Irsay. Lions president Tom Lewand was suspended for 30 days and fined $100,000 in 2010 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy following his guilty plea to driving while impaired.
An initial hearing is scheduled for June 19.
Irsay was supposed to have an initial hearing on March 25, but that hearing was postponed because he had been admitted to an out-of-state medical facility for inpatient treatment, the prosecutor’s office said. His family said at the time he was undergoing treatment ‘‘''to help him meet his challenges head-on.’’
Ravens running back Ray Rice said he ‘‘failed miserably’’ and has apologized for the actions that led to his February arrest on assault charges.
Rice was arrested in Atlantic City Feb. 15 after an altercation in which he allegedly struck his fiance, Janay Palmer.
Rice was accepted Tuesday into a diversion program, which upon completion could lead to the charges against him being expunged.
Speaking to the media for the first time since his arrest, Rice was joined Friday at the team’s training complex in Owings Mills, Md., by Janay, whom he married in late February.
His voice cracking, Rice said: ‘‘I failed miserably, but I wouldn’t call myself a failure because I'm working my way back up.’’
Rice spoke for just over six minutes and took no questions.
Broncos director of player personnel Matt Russell, who was accused of crashing into two cars while driving drunk has been sentenced to seven months in jail after he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and careless driving resulting in injury. Russell was charged after a vehicle ran into the back of a police car in Summit (Colo.) County over the 4th of July holiday. Russell was suspended indefinitely from the team and was told to get treatment, rehabilitation and counseling after the accidents . . . Broncos safety T.J. Ward has been charged with misdemeanor assault and disturbing the peace for allegedly throwing a glass mug at a female bartender at a Denver strip club earlier this month. Ward, 27, appeared in court Friday to face the charges stemming from the incident at 2:40 a.m. on May 10 at PT’s All Nude club. According to court documents, Ward was seen on video surveillance picking up the mug from the bar and throwing it at the bartender after being told he couldn’t bring a drink into the club. A court date was set for June 23. Ward signed a four-year, $22.5 million deal with Denver this spring.
The Seahawks released sixth-round pick Garrett Scott after a rare heart condition was discovered during his physical with the team. The offensive tackle was taken with Seattle’s second sixth-round pick earlier this month out of Marshall. Scott was released with a ‘‘non-football illness’’ distinction. According to a statement from general manager John Schneider, Scott was found to have a heart condition that would prevent him from any on-field participation in the near future. Schneider said the team will continue to support and help Scott in whatever steps he wants to take going forward. Scott signed his rookie contract with the Seahawks Thursday. He started 35 of 41 games in his career at Marshall . . . The 49ers signed guard Brandon Thomas to a four-year deal. Thomas was taken 100th overall out of Clemson with the last of the team’s three third-round picks . . . The Bengals signed fourth-round pick Russell Bodine, a center from North Carolina who will block for former college teammate Giovani Bernard in Cincinnati . . . The Cowboys signed fifth-round pick Devin Street to a four-year contract. Street is a receiver from Pittsburgh, where his 202 career receptions are the most in school history . . . Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel was the victim of an apparent hoax when a sexual harrassment lawsuit was filed against him in Florida last week. The lawsuit asked for $25 million for “emotional distress” and was filed under the name of Samantha Schacher, a co-host on the “Dr. Drew On Call’’ show. Schacher took to Twitter to deny the lawsuit: “It’s 100 percent a hoax people,’’ she tweeted .