|Marketing agent for Peterson charged with bribery, theft|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 24 April 2007 14:21|
Bill Henkel, managing director of 10 Sports Marketing, turned himself in to the Johnson County, Kan., sheriff's office on Friday, deputy Tom Erickson said. Henkel posted $10,000 bond and was released the same day.
The charges are related to a sports memorabilia deal that Henkel, the former football marketing director of International Management Group's football division, negotiated involving San Diego Chargers star LaDainian Tomlinson, the Johnson County prosecutor's office said.
In August 2005, Henkel allegedly solicited a kickback for a marketing deal involving the Pro Bowl running back, then received a portion of the kickback without the knowledge of Tomlinson or IMG. A complaint issued by the district attorney's office places the value of the theft between $1,000 and $25,000.
``To make it clear, there are no charges against LaDainian Tomlinson,'' said Brian Burgess, a spokesman for the district attorney's office.
A message left for Henkel by The Associated Press on Tuesday was not immediately returned. His attorney, Cheryl Pilate in Kansas City, Mo., said the case will be ``very vigorously defended.''
``Mr. Henkel has said he'll allow the loyalty of the players he represents to speak for itself as the matter gets resolved,'' Pilate said.
A spokesman for IMG had no immediate comment.
Among the witnesses listed on the district attorney's complaint are Tomlinson, his business manager, Lamar Andrews, and his agent, Tom Condon.
Condon, who also represents Peyton and Eli Manning, worked for IMG until last year, when he left to join Creative Artists Agency. A message left for Condon by The Associated Press on Tuesday was not immediately returned.
Cleveland-based IMG filed a lawsuit against Henkel last year, accusing him of breaking the nonsolicitation part of his employment agreement by trying to steal clients when he founded 10 Sports Marketing in Overland Park, Kan.
Tomlinson supported IMG's claims in a signed affidavit, stating Henkel tried to persuade him to leave IMG for Henkel's firm.
Peterson, the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 2004, ran for 4,045 yards in three seasons with the Sooners. He is expected to be the first running back taken in this weekend's NFL draft.