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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell designates former NJ attorney general Peter C. Harvey to hear appeal of Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday directed former New Jersey Attorney General Peter S. Harvey to hear the league’s appeal against Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshawn Watson’s six-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, NFL Network insider Mike Garafolo said.

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“Mr. Harvey served as Attorney General of New Jersey and is now a partner at Paterson Belknap in New York,” the league said in a statement Thursday. “He also worked as a federal prosecutor. He has an in-depth knowledge of criminal law, including domestic violence and sexual assault, and has advised the NFL and other professional leagues on the development and implementation of NFL workplace policies, including the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. Mr. Harvey has also been the commissioner’s representative in other arbitrations.”

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Harvey served as Attorney General of New Jersey from 2003 to 2006.

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On Wednesday, the NFL announced that it would be filing an appeal against Disciplinary Officer Sue L. Robinson’s decision regarding Watson. The NFL Players Association, which on Sunday said it would not appeal Robinson’s decision, has until Friday to respond to the league.

Robinson, a former federal judge, ordered Watson’s six-game suspension on Monday, writing in a 16-page report that the NFL successfully “handled its burden to prove, with the most evidence, that Mr. Watson violated (personal-conduct) politics”, engaging in “sexual violence; conduct that poses a real threat to the safety and well-being of another person; and conduct that undermines or compromises the integrity of the NFL.”

According to Robinson’s report, the NFL argued that Watson should be suspended for at least the entire 2022 season. Robinson, however, wrote that she was “bound by the ‘standards of fairness and consistency in the treatment of similarly positioned players’ in her decision”.

NFL Network’s Judy Battista said Wednesday, citing a source familiar with the appeal, that the league is again seeking a one-year suspension for Watson.

“The NFL’s appeal is considering whether, based on the findings of Judge Robinson, the discipline should be changed to include professional assessment and treatment as determined by medical experts, an appropriate fine and a longer suspension,” the league said Thursday. . “Subject to the Collective Agreement, Mr. Harvey’s written decision “will constitute the full, final and final resolution of the dispute and will be binding on the CBA player(s), club(s) and parties.”

In accordance with the league’s personal conduct policy, the appeal will be processed on an expedited basis and will be based on a “review of existing records”, which means no new evidence or testimony will be allowed.

Watson’s three-day disciplinary hearing before Robinson concluded on June 30 in Delaware.

Watson had previously denied any wrongdoing and maintained that any sex with women was consensual. Two grand juries in Texas refused to indict Watson in criminal complaints filed by 10 women.



Source: www.nfl.com

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