Oklahoma City will pay former University of Oklahoma quarterback Charles Thompson $50,000 to settle a lawsuit claiming he was wrongfully arrested by city police in 2006 on a public intoxication complaint.
Thompson said he filed the lawsuit to protect a public image he has worked tirelessly to rehabilitate after a much-publicized downfall during his time as a Sooner.
Thompson won fame by helping the Sooners to an 11-1 season as starting quarterback in his freshman year in 1987. He gained infamy in 1989 when he was arrested by the FBI and later pleaded guilty to dealing cocaine while a member of the football team.
He served two years in prison and appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in handcuffs wearing prison orange.
After prison, Thompson began speaking to numerous groups about the dangers of drugs and said he became a rededicated Christian. He has since become a motivational speaker and runs a youth football program, preaching to young people not to fall into the same traps that brought him down.
It was his work with the youth football program that led to the confrontation with Oklahoma City police in 2006.
Thompson and a group of parents were in a room at the Residence Inn, 4361 W Reno Ave., on Nov. 18, painting signs for the teams playing in a televised game the next day.
Managers of the hotel called police after several noise complaints.
When police arrived, they told Thompson he and his group had to leave the hotel. Thompson refused, saying the noise was coming from a different room.
Police claimed Thompson was belligerent and smelled of alcohol. After arguing with police for several minutes, he stepped out of the room and was arrested for public intoxication.
At trial in January 2007, five witnesses testified there was no alcohol in the room and that Thompson had not been drinking.
But a city judge believed the officers and found Thompson guilty. He was fined $69.
Thompson appealed the decision to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, which ruled in February 2008 that the weight of evidence in the case did not support a conviction, overturning the city court's decision.
In addition to the settlement fee, the city will issue Thompson a letter of regret over the incident.