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Favre fined for lack of cooperation in Sterger case

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Posted Dec. 29, 2010 @ 4:08 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

After dragging out the case involving then Jets QB Brett Favre and a former Jets employee from 2008, the NFL has ruled that Favre did not violate league policy but was fined $50,000 for a lack of cooperation in the case.

The NFL investigated the case for much of the season and spoke with Jenn Sterger, the former employee to whom Favre was reportedly said to have sent racy text messages. Commissioner Roger Goodell has said for weeks that the league had hoped to hand down a ruling in the case before the end of the season, but because of a lack of evidence and the time elapsed there was little for the NFL to find Favre guilty of related directly to the allegations.

"On the basis of the evidence currently available to him, Commissioner Goodell could not conclude that Favre violated league policies relating to workplace conduct," a league statement reads. "The forensic analysis could not establish that Favre sent the objectionable photographs to Sterger. The review found no evidence to contradict the statements of both Favre and Sterger that they never met in person, nor was there anything to suggest that Sterger engaged in any inappropriate conduct."

They found no evidence of Favre violating league Personal Conduct Policy but did fine him for his lack of cooperation in the investigation. Favre reportedly met with league investigators but did not comply fully, according to the NFL's statement.

"However, Commissioner Goodell also determined that Favre was not candid in several respects during the investigation, resulting in a longer review and additional negative public attention for Favre, Sterger, and the NFL. The commissioner notified Favre that he has been fined $50,000 for his failure to cooperate with the investigation in a forthcoming manner. Commissioner Goodell stated to Favre that if he had found a violation of the league's workplace conduct policies, he would have imposed a substantially higher level of discipline."

Goodell sent a memo to all the teams on Wednesday, reminding them of the serious nature of the conduct policy. It read: "Every member of every club's staff should be able to work in an environment free of harassment or hostility, and one in which every employee is valued, respected, and given a full opportunity to contribute to the goals of the club and the NFL. Our new training program on workplace conduct will help all of us to promote the right kind of environment for all employees and I intend to dedicate the fine I have imposed on Favre to help fund that training program."

Sterger and Favre have yet to comment on the ruling. Favre missed Tuesday night's win over the Eagles, but Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said Favre could start Sunday against the Lions if he has passed his post-concussion tests stemming from an injury he suffered in a loss to the Bears in Week 15.

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