In a statement released Friday afternoon — you know, that time people try to drop news that they hope will disappear over the weekend — Subway admitted that it received a “serious” complaint about former spokesman Jared Fogle, but it was “not properly escalated or acted upon.” The complaint was uncovered during an internal investigation that was launched after Fogle was arrested for possessing child pornography and attempting to have sex with minors.
The issue was brought to Subway’s attention by Florida reporter Rochelle Herman-Walrond back in 2011. According to Subway spokeswoman Kristen McMahon, the complaint contained “nothing that implied anything about sexual behavior or criminal activity involving Mr. Fogle.” She did not say exactly what the complaint was for though, and honestly, that explanation is a bit difficult to believe when you consider Herman-Walron is the woman who tipped off the FBI, eventually leading to a raid on Fogle’s home.
Subway still denies it ever received any complaint from Cindy Mills, the franchisee who broke off a relationship with Fogle when he started doing things like attempting to get Mills to set him up with her underage cousin. Mills claims that she informed both an advertising executive for Subway (in the hopes that they would remove all promotional material featuring Fogle from her store) and a “regional Subway contact in Florida” back in 2008.
The company has severed its ties to him. Subway’s investigation included a review of more than a million online comments and interviews with past and present employees and managers with both the company and an advertising fund, the statement said.
McMahon would not elaborate on the nature of the complaint.
Nevertheless, the company said it regrets the complaint was “not properly escalated or acted upon,” according to the statement.
It’s unclear how Herman-Walrond knew Fogle, who lives in suburban Indianapolis. Authorities in Indiana would not say whether she was part of their investigation into him.
But Fogle’s plea agreement mentions that witnesses in Florida, Georgia and Washington state provided recordings and information it says show Fogle “repeatedly discussed with them his interest in engaging in commercial sex acts with minors or stated that he has done so in the past.”
Separately, a lawyer for former Subway franchisee Cindy Mills said she alerted an executive in charge of the company’s advertising in 2008 after Fogle began talking to her about paying for sex with minors.
The attorney said Mills also shared her concerns with a regional Subway contact in Florida, where she is based.
Subway Admits They Received A ‘Serious’ Complaint About Jared Fogle In 2011