According to former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley, we’ve got another spy-gate on our hands. Only time, it’s in-house.
The article describes a place of paranoia in which general manager Scott Pioli in 2009 started a plan of secrecy which that prevented non-football employees from accessing certain areas and entire floors of the team’s head offices.
Staff members with office windows facing the team’s practice fields were directed to keep the shades in their offices drawn, and security guards would interrupt phone calls if necessary to tell employees to close those shades. This applied to team president Mark Donovan as well — he told Babb that he kept his shades drawn in an effort to let employees know that one was not more trusted than others.
Three departments have sued the Chiefs for age discrimination, and according to the Babb piece, people don’t know who to trust anymore.
Here’s an excerpt from the Babb piece about Haley:
Haley walked into the public relations office at Chiefs headquarters on a Thursday in early December. Four days before he was fired as the team’s coach, he wanted to talk about what life was like inside this organization. But he didn’t know who else might be listening.
Looking up toward the ceiling, he darted into a back hallway before hesitating. Then he turned around, going back through a door and stopping again. Haley suspected that many rooms at the team facility were bugged so that team administrators could monitor employees’ conversations. [...]
This past year, Haley stopped talking on the phone and repeatedly checked his office for listening devices. After being fired, Haley didn’t respond to interview requests; many former staffers said they signed confidentiality agreements upon being let go.
The Chiefs said there’s nothing to substantiate Haley’s fears, but some believed that anything was possible.
“I don’t think that anything would surprise anyone, really,” said a former employee who worked for the Chiefs for more than two decades. “That’s how Scott wants it.”