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Second Broncos executive arrested on DUI charge

The SportsXchange

A second member of the Denver Broncos' personnel department has been arrested for driving under the influence.

Tom Heckert, the team's director of pro personnel, was charged with DUI on June 11, but it was reported Tuesday for the first time. This past weekend, Matt Russell, the Broncos' director of player personnel, was arrested on the same charge.

Both Heckert and the Broncos acknowledged his arrest on Tuesday. Russell and Heckert could face fines and suspensions from the NFL.

"This type of behavior is inexcusable, unacceptable and completely embarrassing," Broncos president Joe Ellis told the Denver Post. "It's embarrassing for us as a franchise, it's embarrassing for (Broncos owner Pat) Bowlen, it's especially embarrassing for our fans. We don't tolerate it and we're not going to. ... My expectation is the discipline will be severe."

The team issued an earlier statement that said: "We were made aware of the matter involving Tom Heckert immediately after it occurred and promptly notified the league office. His arrest is extremely upsetting, and this situation is being handled internally as well as in coordination with NFL policies.

"Tom's actions are obviously part of a disturbing pattern of irresponsible behavior that we are aggressively addressing within our organization. One member of the Broncos arrested for driving under the influence is one too many. This type of behavior puts innocent people at risk and cannot be tolerated. While our team and league supply plenty of resources to prevent these situations, it is clear we need to do better.

"We are thoroughly reviewing the procedures we have in place and will do whatever it takes to enhance their effectiveness going forward."

Heckert said, "I am extremely disappointed that in my short time with the Broncos I have made such a serious mistake. My actions last month have brought embarrassment to the organization, and I fully understand the consequences that are involved. I am truly sorry and take complete responsibility for this situation.

"Although I have let many people down, I will learn from this and work toward regaining the trust that I have lost."

The Broncos hired Heckert in May after he was fired in December by the Cleveland Browns after three seasons as general manager.

"One episode is one too many. Two is ridiculous," Ellis told the Post. "I understand the outrage in the community, I understand the outrage of the fans. It's justified. We have an obligation to do the right thing. And we will."
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