Panthers put interim GM Marty Hurney on paid leave after ex-wife's allegations

Joseph Person and Michael Gordon, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Football

The Carolina Panthers have placed interim general manager Marty Hurney on paid leave after his ex-wife accused him of harassment last week.

The NFL is investigating Hurney under the league's personal conduct policy, team spokesman Steven Drummond said. The Panthers notified the NFL that Hurney's ex-wife filed on Friday for a protective order. Hurney notified the Panthers on Sunday of the filing, Drummond said.

The judge who heard Jeanne Hurney's complaint said there was no evidence Hurney had committed acts of domestic violence against her. District Judge Ronald Chapman refused to issue an immediate restraining order against Marty Hurney. Chapman set a Feb. 16 hearing on the complaint.

Marty Hurney referred questions to his attorney.

Kathi Lucchesi, one of Marty Hurney's lawyers, said the allegations are "complete fiction."

Jeanne Hurney told the Observer on Tuesday that she had withdrawn her complaint and referred other questions to her attorney, Jonathan Feit. "It's been really emotional," she said.

Feit did not respond to phone calls and an email seeking comment Tuesday.

It's unclear whether the Feb. 16 hearing will still take place after Jeanne Hurney's decision to withdraw her complaint. A source familiar with the NFL investigation of Hurney says the review will continue even if the complaint is withdrawn.

In her complaint, she said Marty Hurney was "extremely controlling and was verbally and emotionally abusive" during the marriage. She said in the complaint that her phone, laptop and security system have been hacked and that she changed her locks three times in three days last summer. "My privacy has been violated for the past seven years with Martin's behaviors of tracking me, my pets and violating my property," the complaint reads.

Jeanne Hurney alleged in her complaint that her ex-husband or his associates had recently broken into her home and classroom. At her home, she said, the intruders had placed sticky notes in a book of hers around such words as "victim," "terrorize" and "may resort to violence."

The allegations come two months after Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced he was selling the team following a Sports Illustrated report that detailed allegations of sexual and racial misconduct. The NFL has launched an independent investigation of Richardson.

On Hurney's situation, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said: "The club advised the league of the matter in a timely fashion, and it is being reviewed under the personal conduct policy."

Jeanne Hurney and Marty Hurney were divorced in January 2014. They had been married since 1988. In late December, Jeanne Hurney filed a motion to receive more alimony, given Hurney's return to the Panthers.

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Jim Warren, a Charlotte attorney who represented Marty Hurney through part of his divorce case, said the allegations "obviously are not based on acts of domestic violence. No reasonable person could have feared for her bodily harm."

Warren also said the complaint "would appear to have been done at a time to inflict the most damage to Marty."

Lucchesi said the fact that Chapman denied Jeanne Hurney's request for a temporary protective order is significant because such 10-day orders typically are granted.

"The fact it didn't get granted in this case is super significant," Lucchesi said.

Marty Hurney, 62, interviewed last week to become the Panthers' full-time general manager for the second time in his career.

Hired on an interim basis last July after Richardson abruptly fired Dave Gettleman, Marty Hurney was the only internal candidate last week to interview for the position with team officials.

The Panthers also talked to three other candidates -- Lake Dawson, Jimmy Raye III and Martin Mayhew.

(Staff researcher Maria David contributed.)

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