Cleveland Browns new owner Jimmy Haslam sits in the 'Dog Pound' in the first half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns Stadium on August 24, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
At an awards banquet in Cleveland Tuesday, Pilot Flying J CEO and Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam again addressed the investigation into his company, apologizing for the embarrassment the investigation has caused.
"I apologize to the city of Cleveland, Northeastern Ohio and all Browns fans because the last thing we ever wanted to do as a new owner was to detract from football and the Browns," Haslam told the Northeast Ohio National Football Foundation Awards Banquet, according to a transcript of his remarks sent to the media by the Moxley-Carmichael PR firm.
Haslam went on to chastise the "apparent behavior" of members of his sales staff at Pilot Flying J, calling allegations that they intentionally and systematically shorted trucking customers on rebate payments "sickening."
He also repeated the list of actions he and Pilot Flying J are taking in the wake of the FBI and IRS raid on April 15, including the hiring of an independent investigator.
Haslam said he plans to spend the next two days calling trucking companies, then return to Cleveland for Browns practice.
Referring to Pilot, Haslam said, "We are big boys, we've been in this business for 54 years and I hope we are in business another 54 years, candidly."