Edward DeBartolo Jr., a member of the family that owned the Pittsburgh Penguins from 1977 to 1991, has received a full pardon from President Trump for failing to report a felony.
The DeBartolos, particularly the senior Edward J. DeBartolo, owned the Penguins until selling the franchise to a group led by Howard Baldwin.
While he was owner of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers in the 1998, DeBartolo Jr. – widely known as Eddie — testified that former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards extorted $400,000 from him for approval of a riverboat gambling license. He received that license.
Because he failed to report the extortion, DeBartolo Jr. paid $1 million in fines and was placed on two years’ probation. He also had to step down from the 49ers, handing the team over to his sister, Denise York. DeBartolo Jr. did not serve jail time.
The pardon came in an executive order signed by the president and announced by White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley.
“I take my hat off to Donald Trump for what he did,” former 49ers star receiver Jerry Rice said, calling it a “great day.” Rice was among those who attended the announcement of the pardon at the White House.
The DeBartolos maintained a headquarters in Boardman, Ohio, outside Youngstown during the years they owned the Penguins.