Berliner Boersenzeitung - Lawmakers demand NFL release finds of Snyder probe

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Lawmakers demand NFL release finds of Snyder probe
Lawmakers demand NFL release finds of Snyder probe

Lawmakers demand NFL release finds of Snyder probe

Federal lawmakers investigating sexual assault and harassment allegations involving Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder demanded Friday that the NFL release the findings of an internal investigation into the claims.

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The move came as the House Oversight and Reform Committee released documents from the NFL that raised doubts of the independence of the probe, showing the league and Snyder agreed in September 2020 -- just after the NFL took charge of the probe -- not to release results of the investigation unless both parties agreed to do so.

Giving Snyder such veto power over making the results public pushed committee chair Carolyn B. Maloney and Raja Krishnamoorthi, chairman of the Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee, to send a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

The letter demanded a release of the findings by attorney Beth Wilkinson into a toxic workplace culture among team executives to female employees, including cheerleaders for the club.

"You have claimed that the NFL did not release Ms. Wilkinson's findings in order to protect the 'security, privacy and anonymity' of the more than 150 witnesses who courageously spoke to Ms. Wilkinson and her team," the lawmakers wrote.

"The Committee's investigation and the NFL's own legal documents raise serious doubts about this justification."

The chairs called upon the league to release the findings of the investigation and all documents related to the probe -- reportedly including hundreds of thousands of emails -- by February 14.

That's the day after the NFL's Super Bowl championship spectacle in Los Angeles between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals.

"If the NFL fails to produce this material, the committee will consider alternate means of obtaining compliance," the committee's news release said.

The demand came a day after accusations of sexual harassment were made against Snyder at a committee hearing Thursday where victims of sexual harassment and misconduct at the team dismissed any need for anonymity and urged the NFL to release the findings.

The committee released a "Common Interest Agreemnt" signed by the NFL and the Washington club pledging to pursue a "joint legal strategy" and not share any privileged documents or information without the other's consent.

The deal means the league might not have been able to release details without the approval of Snyder, who faces multiple sexual misconduct accusations by employees.

- 'Deeply concerning' -

"The NFL's refusal to release the full findings of the investigation or any written report raises questions about the extent of the misconduct at the Washington Football Team, whether those responsible have been held accountable, and whether the NFL has taken appropriate action to prevent similar conduct in the future," the lawmakers' letter to Goodell said.

The committee also showed a 2020 engagement letter stating Wilkinson would make a written report of her findings and recommendations.

Goodell, however, instructed her to make an oral report rather than written findings and the league issued a four-page press release on the findings last July rather than a full report from Wilkinson.

"Your decision not to release a written report is deeply concerning," lawmakers told Goodell in the letter.

"Without a written report, it is unclear how the NFL can have any confidence that it has fully examined the scope of the misconduct."

(T.Renner--BBZ)