Carolina Panthers interim general manager Marty Hurney was scheduled to meet with an NFL investigator in Charlotte on Friday, the first step in a process he hopes will clear his name and help him get his job back.
Hurney was slated to answer questions Friday morning from Lisa Friel, the former New York City sex-crimes prosecutor hired by the NFL in 2014 to help commissioner Roger Goodell with domestic violence cases.
Kathi Lucchesi, Hurney’s Charlotte-based attorney, declined comment Friday in an email to the Observer.
Hurney has been on paid administrative leave since Monday after his ex-wife, Jeanne Hurney, accused him of harassment last week while seeking a temporary restraining order.
Jeanne Hurney, whose request for a restraining order was turned down by a district judge, has since dropped her complaint.
But the NFL continued its review of Marty Hurney, which is taking place concurrently with the league’s investigation of Panthers owner Jerry Richardson. The Richardson investigation stems from allegations of sexual and racial misconduct against Richardson that were detailed in a Sports Illustrated report in December.
Given Friel’s trip to Charlotte less than a week after the NFL learned of the allegations against Hurney, the league appears to have expedited its investigation of Hurney. Friel also apparently met with Panthers officials this week, according to a source.
Richardson wants to let the process with Hurney play out before making any decisions about his future, according to a team source. Hurney, named the interim GM in July after Dave Gettleman’s firing, interviewed for the full-time position last week with the team’s four-person search committee.
The Panthers also interviewed three minority candidates in compliance with the Rooney Rule – Bills assistant college scouting director Lake Dawson, Texans assistant GM Jimmy Raye III and 49ers personnel executive Martin Mayhew.
Dawson returned to Charlotte this week for a second interview shortly after Hurney was placed on leave, according to team and league sources. Panthers coach Ron Rivera, part of the search team, was not present for Dawson’s second interview, a source said.
The investigations come at a time when the Panthers are accepting and reviewing bids from potential ownership groups after Richardson announced in December – hours after the SI report – that he was selling the team.