CLEVELAND -- 2014 will be a year of rebuilding credibility for Browns owner Jimmy Haslam.
He's still working to rebuild trust with customers of his Pilot Flying J truck stop business.
FBI agents raided the company's Tennessee headquarters in April as part of an investigation into a scheme to swindle companies out of millions of dollars in fuel rebates.
At his Monday press conference in Berea to discuss the firing of Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski, Haslam admitted efforts to deal with the fallout of that investigation took time away his oversight of the Browns.
"Has it been a distraction for me in terms of time spent here in the last six months? Yes," he said.
Haslam and Pilot worked out an $85 million settlement with 5,500 companies. Some are still suing.
At least seven Pilot Flying J sales employees have pleaded to fraud charges. Some are cooperating with investigators.
The grand jury's work continues.
No charges have been brought against Haslam or Pilot.
"We accept responsibility for what happened at our company as the person at the top. We have not done anything wrong. We're confident there will be a successful outcome," Haslam said.
Former federal Assistant Prosecutor Dick Lillie says: "Absolutely the cloud remains, and absolutely he would have reason to be nervous ... until they close the book."
But Lillie says his reading of the situation tells him Haslam won't be indicted.
"His actions coupled with what we're seeing from the U.S. attorney's office there indicates to me nothing is going to happen," Lillie said.
There are reports that Haslam has a contingency plan in case he's indicted to have ownership of the Browns revert to his father.
Some observers believe that the uncertainty over Haslam's future is one more drawback the Browns might have in landing the best possible coach.