Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III is back in Berea with the Browns, as today he joined his football operations staff at work.
The Browns sit with the 6th pick in next Thursday’s NFL Draft, and he is involved with the planning for his first draft as the teams owner.
Haslam arrived in Cleveland three days after FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents executed four search warrants at his Pilot Flying J company headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn.
Haslam is the CEO of Pilot Flying J. He didn’t talk to the media about the situation, but Browns CEO Joe Banner said Haslam jumped right back into his football job.
”This is the first year Jimmy has really owned the team and has the chance to put his imprint on it, so I think he’s excited in general,” Banner said. ”We’re glad to have him here. He asks good questions. He’s a good asset to have as an owner.
”Jimmy isn’t in there, watching film (of potential draft picks), but he’s very involved with our entire process.”
At a Tuesday press conference in Knoxville, Haslam revealed the government is investigating rebates offered by the truck stop chain, but said, ”We believe we did nothing wrong.” His family – including his brother, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam – owns 59 percent of the business.
Haslam added that he has not been subpoenaed and no Pilot Flying J employees have been arrested, but subpoenas were issued to several members of the company’s 23-person sales force.
”Jimmy made a statement about that the other day, and there’s not much I can add to it,” Banner said. ”Everything I can and want to say about this, I already have. I can tell you that the Browns’ operations are the same as they’ve always been.”