Eric Kay, who worked in the Angels’ media relations department for 24 years, has been charged by federal authorities in Texas with distributing fentanyl in connection with the overdose death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs, according to court documents reviewed by The LA Times.
Skaggs, 27, died on July 1, 2019 while the Angels were on the road to play the Rangers. He was discovered on the bed of a Southlake, Texas, hotel room, fully clothed, with no signs of trauma.
A toxicology report by the Tarrant County medical examiner found the opioids fentanyl and oxycodone in his system. The medical examiner listed the cause of death as “alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents,” meaning he choked on his vomit.
ESPN reported last year that Kay told federal agents he supplied Skaggs with opioids and he abused drugs with the pitcher for several years.
The attorney for Kay previously described Skaggs as “an addict who overdosed.”
“I just know that attempts to blame any one person for another person’s addiction are extremely naive,” attorney Michael Molfetta of Newport Beach said last fall. “I think any attempts to blame Eric Kay for what happened are shortsighted and misguided. When all the facts come out, I think that what happened is a tragedy. What happened is very sad on many levels. But to say it’s any one person’s fault is not right.”
The Angels released the following statement Friday morning.
Statement regarding the recent developments in the Tyler Skaggs investigation: pic.twitter.com/fI0b3i3pba— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) August 7, 2020
“It has been more than a year since the tragic passing of Tyler Skaggs, and all of us affected by this loss continue to grieve. The circumstances surrounding his death are a tragedy that has impacted countless individuals and families.
“The Angels Organization has fully cooperated with Law Enforcement and Major League Baseball. Additionally, in order to comprehensively understand the circumstances that led to his death, we hired a former federal prosecutor to conduct an independent investigation.
“We learned that there was unacceptable behavior inconsistent with our code of conduct, and we took steps to address it. Our investigation also confirmed that no one in management was aware, or informed, of any employee providing opioids to any player, nor that Tyler was using opioids.
“As we try to heal from the loss of Tyler, we continue to work with authorities as they complete their investigation.”
Here’s an update from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas