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Bills exec Lake Dawson passed over for Panthers' general manager post

The Carolina Panthers removed the interim tag and named Marty Hurney as their general manager, the team announced on Wednesday.
Hurney held the general manager's title from 2002-2012 and served as the interim GM following the termination of Dave Gettleman prior to the start of training camp last season.

In addition to Hurney, the Panthers interviewed Buffalo Bills assistant college scouting director Lake Dawson, former Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew and Houston Texans assistant GM Jimmy Raye III for the position

Dawson had interviewed for the Panthers' GM position in 2013, as well as for GM openings in Miami (2014), Tampa Bay (2014) and Chicago (2015). Dawson, 46, has 23 years of NFL experience, including six years as a wide receiver and 17 in scouting.

The Panthers put the 62-year-old Hurney on paid leave while the NFL investigated allegations of harassment leveled by his ex-wife. The NFL informed the Panthers on Friday that there was no evidence of a violation and the investigation is closed.

"We are very fortunate to have Marty as our general manager after he did an exceptional job in the interim role this past season," Panthers chief operating officer Tina Becker said in a statement. "Marty's guidance and vision helped build the foundation for this team, and his work this season was instrumental in returning the team to the playoffs. We believe he will continue to craft a roster that will win games and contend for a championship."

Hurney oversaw a front office that helped Carolina to an 11-5 record and a playoff appearance. The Panthers, however, dropped a 31-26 decision to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC wild-card round.

"I have always felt a strong connection to this organization and viewed this job as one of the very best in the NFL because of the people here," Hurney said. "Mr. (Jerry) Richardson and Tina have been open and honest with me from the beginning, and I am thankful for the trust they have placed in me. I gained a lot of perspective being away and then back in an interim role last season. I feel that I am the best person to help Ron (Rivera, head coach) and this team moving forward. We have a really special core of players in place, and I'm extremely excited about the direction we are headed."

In Hurney's first stint as general manager, the Panthers made three playoff appearances, won an NFC championship, two NFC South titles, and played in two NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl.

Hurney was placed on paid leave on Feb. 4 after a court document was filed against him in Mecklenburg County Court in North Carolina. The lawyer for his former wife recently filed a notice of voluntary dismissal of the grievance.

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