Patriots' Sullivan resigns after authority is reduced

January 30, 1991

Patrick Sullivan resigned last night after eight seasons as general manager of the New England Patriots, one month after they finished 1-15, their worst season.

Sullivan's duties had diminished since Sam Jankovich became the team's chief executive officer Dec. 20 and was given complete control of the organization by owner Victor Kiam.

"I recognized that things are not permanent and I felt very strongly that I wanted to have a role within the organization that was a responsible role," Sullivan said. "When I recognized that I really wouldn't have the responsible role that was important, it was time to move on."

Sullivan, 38, who had six years left on his contract, is the son of William H. Sullivan Jr., the team's original owner when the franchise was founded in 1960. The elder Sullivan, beset by family financial problems, sold the team to Kiam in October 1988.

Patrick Sullivan's biggest problem this season began Sept. 17 when Boston Herald reporter Lisa Olson was sexually harassed by several Patriots in the team's locker room.

On Sept. 30, Kiam tried to suspend Sullivan, But National Football League commissioner Paul Tagliabue told Kiam not to take any action until the league's special counsel had completed his investigation of the incident.

The counsel's report criticized Sullivan and Kiam.

After meetings involving Jankovich, Sullivan, and Kiam, Jankovich became chief executive officer. Sullivan was retained as general manager, although his duties changed.

Jankovich and Sullivan reportedly agreed that if their relationship wasn't working, an agreement would be reached for Sullivan to leave.

* The New York Giants turned down invitations to celebrate their Super Bowl victory with the New Jersey governor and mayor of New York City, saying it wouldn't be right with war raging in the Persian Gulf.

New Jersey Gov. Jim Florio and New York City Mayor David Dinkins had invited the Giants to celebrate their 20-19 victory Sunday over the Buffalo Bills with fans on either side of the Hudson River.

"We're turning down all deals," said Giants spokesman Ed Croke. "It would be inappropriate to show celebration."

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