On Wednesday, Beth Bowlen Wallace and her sister Amie Klemmer issued a scathing statement that laments the legacy of their late father Pat Bowlen as being tarnished and lambasted the Denver Broncos' current leadership. Both sisters are suing the trustees of their father’s estate in a civil lawsuit in Arapahoe County Court.
Denver7's Troy Renck provided the statement from Bowlen Wallace:
“My sister Amie, my uncle John Bowlen and I have had the privilege, along with all fans that bleed orange and blue, of seeing what a winning team looks like. Watching these past few seasons has been extremely painful and we continue to see no other way to restore the franchise for our fans but through a transition of ownership of the Denver Broncos.”
“My father Pat Bowlen would never have accepted the team’s current state. Fortunately, my father’s legacy as one of the NFL’s greatest owners has been solidified at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. We will forever reflect on the over 30 years of ownership that got him there with great pride. Our desire is for this team to be restored to its winning ways and to see more Super Bowl championships for Broncos Country. We have been committed to and will continue to pursue resolutions on all issues in order to ensure a smooth and timely transition.
“We are hopeful that the current leadership agrees that this is in the best interests of the Denver Broncos and most importantly, it is in the best interests of our incredibly loyal fans, my father’s legacy and the Bowlen family.”
Pat Bowlen purchased the Denver Broncos in 1984 became one of the most successful NFL owners of all-time. He was a true pioneer. As Alzheimer's Disease began to ravage him, Bowlen put a trust in place with the hopes that one of his seven children would succeed him as the team’s owner.
Bowlen Wallace and Klemmer are his two oldest daughters from his first marriage to Sally Parker. Bowlen’s widow Annabel had five children with him — Patrick, Johnny, Brittany, Annabel, and Christianna.
In the spring of 2018, Bowlen Wallace announced that she intended to succeed her father as owner. However, the trustees of Pat Bowlen’s estate issued a harsh response stating she was “not capable or qualified.”
That same year in the fall, then 28-year-old Brittany announced she intended on becoming the controlling owner.
But in June 2019, Mr. Bowlen passed away. Along with mourning the loss of ‘Mr. B’, Broncos Country has endured half a decade’s worth of losing.
It was recently revealed that the lawsuit filed by Bowlen Wallace and Klemmer against the three-person trust has been set for July 12, 2021. Originally scheduled for the fall of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the hearing.
KUSA’s Mike Klis reported the following on Wednesday:
"The trustees are not expected to pursue a transition from trustees to either a Bowlen child or sale to an outside investor until the lawsuit brought against by Bowlen Wallace and Klemmer is resolved.
“The lawsuit that Bowlen-Wallace and Klemmer have brought against their father’s trust seeks the trust be dissolved because their father lacked capacity when trust was amended from 2002 and executed in 2009.”
The three-person trust is comprised of team President and CEO Joe Ellis, team counsel Rich Slivka, and Denver attorney Mary Kelly.
While the eldest sisters suspect their late father of lacking the mental capacity to invoke a trust, it’s been speculated that Ellis intends to name Brittany as the eventual controlling owner.
“Per multiple sources, his five children from wife Annabel, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2018, want the family to continue to maintain control of the team with Brittany Bowlen in line to one day succeed her father as controlling own,” Klis reported Wednesday.
This has not only left the franchise’s future undetermined but has been deemed unacceptable by the NFL. Last week, the league codified a new rule that allows it to levey a fine with a maximum of $10 million per year to any team that doesn’t have one person holding the final say in team matters.
“Attorney Dan Reilly for the trustees declined to comment,” said Mike Klis.