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President Trump Pardons Ex-49ers Owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. for 1998 Conviction

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2020

Former NFL owner Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., poses with his bust during an induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, in Canton, Ohio.  (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press

Former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. was granted clemency Tuesday.

According to Maegan Vazquez of CNN, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley announced president Donald Trump signed the executive order.

Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk noted DeBartolo, who purchased the 49ers in 1977, pleaded guilty to failing to report a felony in 1998 after former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards sought a $400,000 bribe from him in exchange for a casino license.

DeBartolo was not sentenced to time in prison, but he agreed to pay a $1 million fine and to two years' probation. He was also required to testify against Edwards, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2001.

Following DeBartolo's guilty plea, he gave up control of the organization to his sister, Denise DeBartolo York.

According to Smith, the move was mandated by the NFL, but DeBartolo was still voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

His profile on the Hall of Fame's website breaks down his tenure as team owner, which included 16 playoff appearances and 13 division titles. He also oversaw the drafting of Joe Montana and the building of a team featuring Jerry Rice and Steve Young.

"I take my hat off to Donald Trump for what he did," Rice said Tuesday, per Jordan Fabian of Bloomberg News.

The 49ers became the first franchise to win five Super Bowls during DeBartolo's time as owner.

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