February 4, 2008
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.--A Federal Judge in Minneapolis has ruled imprisoned Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick can keep most of the $20,000,000 in bonuses he was entitled through from 2004-2007.
The National Footballl League and the team had sought to reclaim the bonuses after Vick pleaded guilty to federal charges in a dogfighting operations. They claimed Vick used the money to help finance the illegal venture.
A special master agreed with the Falcons in October.
However, U.S. District Judge David Doty today ruled the Falcons recovering the bonus money would violate the NFL collective bargaining agreement.
His order says Vick can keep over $16,000,000 of the bonus money.
Vick is now serving a sentence in a federal prison in Kansas.
His attorney's office says he is pleased by the ruling but understands the order of the District Judge could be appealed to a higher court.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.