Napa DA on Tom Cable: “Not my management style”

According to the Napa District Attorney, Gary Leberstein; Raiders head coach, Tom Cable, will not be charged in the August 5 incident in which assistant coach Randy Hanson was taken to the hospital with a broken jaw. Mr Leberstein held a press conference this afternoon to announce his ruling. Here are some excerpts from what he had to say on the matter:

“It is the decision of our office that we will not be filing criminal charges against Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable in regards to the incident which occurred at the training center at the Napa Valley Marriott in a hotel room back on August fifth of this year. Our decision is based on a full review of the evidence. We had an outstanding and very complete investigation done by the Napa police department, which quite frankly was not finished until late yesterday afternoon when the alleged victim Randy Hanson was asked back to give a followup interview to explain many inconsistencies that had occurred during a number of statements he had given over the course of this investigation… I could tell you this is just like any other case. I don’t walk out of my office every day like this, but I will tell you our analysis is the same… we are reviewed many extensive investigative reports involving several individuals who were inside the hotel room where this occurred. This includes three assistant coaches of the Oakland Raiders, the alleged victim Randy Hanson and of course Coach Tom Cable. We didn’t have anything to review from Tom Cable that is his right not to say anything, and he chose to exercise that right.

“We started out on this case back on August 5th there was an incident at the Raiders training camp… there was meeting of a sorts in a hotel room during training camp. During the course of that meeting, Mr Cable was apparently expressing come concerns he had in regards to something that had happened previously in Mr Hanson’s job… Mr Hanson was disappointed in something he was told Mr Cable apparently got angry and moved towards Mr Hanson. Couple of the other coaches stepped in between. There was no direct contact that we were able to establish between Coach Cable and Coach Hanson. There was possibly a situation where Mr Hanson had his feet up on the table it looks like that is what occurred and he was bumped into or lost his balance and he did fall over backwards. Its important for you to understand, despite the rumors and reports in the media there is no evidence what so ever that would support that Cable ever physically struck, physically pushed or assaulted in that manner Mr Hanson. There is also no credible evidence we could establish in this case that there were any verbal threats made towards Mr Hanson… One could say that in a textbook manner batter had occurred, but it would be more akin to one of you jostling for position bumping into each other and asking us to prosecute. There are many factors that we look into… when this incident happened the police were not called the incident not reported. Mr Hanson went to the hospital to report an injury. As a result of our laws, the police were called, the police responded. Mr Hanson refused to say who did this, refused to press charges, did not want anything further to happen, and indicated at that time someone had tried to punch him or hit him… there was indeed a fracture that did occur in this case, but it is our conclusion based on all the statements that was not the result of any intended act by Mr Cable.

“It was only many many weeks later after several requests for interviews that Mr Hanson agreed to come in for an interview, and he would only do so in the presence of his attorney. It was very important for us in analyzing this case to understand why the long delay. The best answer we could get initially was that it was on the advice of his attorney.

“As recently as last week [Randy Hanson] came into the police department and made a comment to the extent that since he was not getting what he wanted from the organization that he was on board with prosecution. That does factor into our decision as to whether or not we allow the criminal justice process to be used in this manner.”

“If this is a law school exam question, ‘Did a harmful or offensive touching happen’, yeah I wouldn’t disagree with you on that. I would say in terms of all the activity we saw in this case that we don’t believe that was any evidence to suggest that had Mr Cable reached Mr Hanson, that he was going to physically assault him or throttle him or something like that. And in fact, when he had the opportunity… the actual contact he had when Mr Hanson was down was he basically… had ahold of his collar and was essentially continuing to lecture him about his concerns about the organization and about he was handling himself… Quite clearly in our mind there is no credible evidence that we would put in front of a jury to prove a felony occurred here… one of my colleagues so aptly said ‘I can’t really define what interest of justice is but I know it when I see it’… There are certainly other avenues of remedy open to Mr Hanson. He has his own counsel obviously but I am not going to speculate what he does from here. I’m saying that we don’t believe that this case is one that we’re going to bring the criminal justice system upon Mr Cable or anybody else, had this happen to them.

“We have no idea [how the broken jaw occurred]. All we can say is that he went into that room without a broken or fractured jaw and something happened when he fell off the chair… I don’t think even [Hanson] knows how it happened. And it’s something that apparently developed over several days.

“we don’t file a case unless it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury. And if we are going to file at all, even if it can result in a plea bargain, we have to be ready to stand in front of a jury… the easiest decision would have been to file this case… we file it as a misdemeanor and say let’s just throw it up to a jury and let them decide.. we can leave it on a jury and say ‘fine, the jury had all the facts and they didn’t convict.’ It’s obviously a much more difficult decision to stand in front of you and say ‘even though we don’t necessarily condone what happened in that room, we don’t believe it rises to the standard of filing criminal charges.’ And no we would not file charges just to coerce a plea bargain.

“The only person in that room that relayed that there were threats was Mr Hanson… There were three other witnesses in that room… you can certainly say ‘ok they all work for the Raiders, they’re on the payroll and they’re going to tow the party line’ and I will tell you that each one of them when they spoke of what happened, we felt were very candid, were very credible and in front of a jury would be extremely credible… Three other people in the room never heard any threats made whatsoever. The conversations were more on the line of a manager talking to his employee… it’s not my management style, you all in the football world are in a different world than we live in day to day. So what I’m saying is that there were heated words. And certainly Mr Cable was not happy with what was going on. And I will be straight candid he was angry. But we have no evidence that physical threats were made. If they were, that would have been something we would have factored into whether we filed charges. And you know, I mean let me just say, if it was the way you were reading in the press, that he had been punched, physically hit, slammed against the wall and threatened to kill him, we would be having a very different conversation here.

“It was only when Mr Hanson was making numerous statements to the media that in some ways were much more extensive than the statement he gave to law enforcement that we believe we needed to re-interview him to see if he could clear up some of the inconsistencies… any statement that a potential witness makes in a case, and when they make multiple statements, it’s something you need to look at. And when there’s inconsistencies, it certainly doesn’t make our job any easier in the search for the truth.”

About Levi Damien, Senior Writer

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