EXCLUSIVE: 1995 Browns controversy - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

EXCLUSIVE: 1995 Browns controversy

The judge involved in the Cleveland Browns' 1995 move to Baltimore, Maryland spoke exclusively to 19 Action News today.

Former Judge Ken Callahan opened up to Ed Gallek about making a tough call.

In 1995, the city went to court to stop the Browns from moving to Baltimore.  The case went to Judge Callahan and helped lead to the Browns' current stadium lease.

Callahan says back then, the entire nation was watching and waiting for his decision.  He says former Browns owner Art Modell even received death threats.

"Art had two armed guards behind him when he testified," said Callahan, "an indication of how emotional the issue was for greater Cleveland."

Back then, Callahan ruled that the Browns could not break their lease and leave Cleveland.  That led the Browns to negotiate their departure.

"The ruling required the NFL to negotiate with the city.  It laid the groundwork for funding for the new stadium,"  said Callahan.

What is Callahan's take on a possible sale now, and whether the Browns would leave again?

"I think it's unlikely there's going to be any way for any owner of the Browns to violate that lease in any way," said Callahan.

Copyright 2012 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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