Pat Bowlen’s younger brother files suit to remove trustees from control of Broncos

Posted at 11:45 PM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-26 16:37:00-04
FILE – In this Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 file photo, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen talks about Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway who he named Executive V.P. of football operations during a news conference at the team’s headquarters in Englewood, Colo. The daughter of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen announced her desire to take over the leadership role of the team and was informed she hasn’t met the criteria. The Bowlen Trust issued a statement Thursday, May 31, 2018 that said Beth Bowlen Wallace “is not capable or qualified at this time.” (AP Photo/ Ed Andrieski, File)

DENVER – Bill Bowlen, younger brother of Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, filed a lawsuit in Colorado District Court to remove the members of the Pat D. Bowlen Trust in control of the Denver Broncos.

Bill states in the suit that the trustees – Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis, Richard Slivka and attorney Mary Kelly – are not acting in Pat’s best interest, creating a deep conflict of interest and a failure to preserve and implement Bowlen’s estate and business succession plan. The suit was filed in the Arapahoe County District Court in Centennial, not far from the Broncos team headquarters. Bill also wants the trust removed as Pat’s power of attorney.

“Although we are currently reviewing this matter, we are aware that the counsel submitting this complaint on behalf of Bill Bowlen is the same one that has been representing Beth Bowlen Wallace.” Dan Reilly, legal counsel for the Pat Bowlen Trust said in a statement released on Thursday night. “The trustees will continue to execute Pat Bowlen’s long-standing succession plan for the Denver Broncos in compliance with all NFL ownership policies.”


Pat Bowlen stepped away from the team’s day to day operations in 2014 after he announced his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s Disease. Since then, Ellis has fulfilled the day to day operations for the Broncos. The Bowlen Trust was established to ensure a succession plan for one of his children to take over ownership. Two of his daughters have expressed interest in succeeding their father: Beth Bowlen Wallace and Brittany Bowlen. Beth is one of two daughters from Pat’s first marriage to Sally Parker. Brittany is one of five children from Pat’s second marriage to Annabel Bowlen.

Beth expressed her interest in May 2018 but was met with almost immediate criticism and rejection from the trust. Brittany Bowlen spoke up this month at a charity event of her desire to eventually run the Broncos.