Prosecutor: Not Enough Evidence To Charge Irsay With Felony
Would not say whether more than one doctor wrote prescriptions, but says prescriptions were legal
Sep. 02, 2014
The man who prosecuted Colts owner Jim Irsay says there was not enough evidence to charge him with a felony in his impaired driving case.
Irsay pleaded guilty Monday to a single misdemeanor charge, with a second charge dropped as part of his plea deal. "The first count, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, is a Class C misdemeanor and is what he actually committed," said Andre Miksha, chief deputy prosecutor in Hamilton County. The second charge, operating per se - driving with a schedule one or schedule two controlled substance that is impairing - was the misdemeanor that was dropped.
Irsay was pulled over by police in Carmel in March when officers noticed him driving slowly near the intersection of Horseferry Road and Main Street. Police found $29,000 in cash and numerous prescription pills, but Irsay's attorney says they were all prescribed to him legally by his doctor or doctors, which Miksha says is what they found as well. "We looked into the question into whether he had legally possessed those substances, and the evidence demonstrated that he had legally possessed those substances," Miksha said, though he added he could not say whether more than one doctor had written the prescriptions. Irsay was investigated in 2002 after records from a pharmacy being investigated by federal authorities showed he had received 120 prescriptions, many of them for painkillers, within one year. Irsay checked himself into a rehabilitation center shortly after his arrest.
The sentence for Irsay included 60 days in jail, but the 58 days that were not served were suspended - Miksha says that is typical for first time offenders. Irsay will be on probation for one year during which he may not consume alcohol, and the sentence also includes a 90-day suspension of his driver's license. That suspension will begin in May 2015; that's when the one-year suspension of his license by the state for refusing a sobriety test at the time of his arrest ends.
Irsay was also suspended for six games and fined $500,000 by the NFL for violating the league's conduct policy.