Team co-owners Dan and Tanya Snyder announce the Washington Football Team’s name change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField in Landover, Maryland on February 2, 2022. Taking pictures with current team members and alumni.
Rob Kerr | Getty Images
Washington, D.C.’s attorney general sued commander and owner Dan Snyder, the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday for deceiving DC residents about the team’s toxic culture for personal financial gain.
Attorney General Karl Racine alleges that the team and its owners lied to DC residents about the team’s toxic culture and allegations of sexual harassment in order to keep the truth out and protect their interests. ing.
Racine said Thursday that the NFL and Goodell worked with Snyder and the Commanders to mislead the public about the suspicions and toxic culture investigations the organization has maintained for years.
“The Commanders and the NFL reached a confidential agreement on an investigation that the public was unaware of,” Racine said, pointing to evidence his office had gathered during the year-long investigation.
Cinder and Commander, who have owned the team since 1999, have been the subject of recent sexual harassment and financial misconduct investigations by both the House Oversight Committee and the NFL.
“Over two years ago, Dan and Tanya Snyder acknowledged that an unacceptable work culture had existed within their organization for several years and apologized repeatedly for allowing it. “We agree with AG Racine on one point, that the public needs to know the truth. We welcome this opportunity to understand the law and establish once and for all what is fact and what is fiction.”
The NFL did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Lawyers representing Racine’s firm said some of their concerns about the NFL and Goodell’s actions included the NFL granting Snyder a debt forgiveness in 2021 that would allow it to buy out minority shareholders. I was. give him full control of the franchise in between investigations.
“We are taking this matter to court as a civil lawsuit to ensure that the process is fair to the defendants and the public is held accountable,” Racine said Thursday.
Of the fines Commander, Snyder, the NFL and Goodell could face, Racine also said that under consumer protection law, fines of up to $5,000 per violation could be imposed “very easily exponentially.” Stacked up,” he said, potentially worth millions of dollars. of fine dollars.
The attorney general is also seeking a court order to release the findings of the investigation. 10 month study Attorney Beth Wilkinson ushered in the commanding workplace culture. News reports about fraud in 2020 prompted this investigation.
The attorney general’s office also alleges that Snyder worked to blackmail potential witnesses and make payments during the course of the investigation, according to lawyers.
The NFL’s review is led by former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White. The league says White is still under review. On Thursday, Racine said he didn’t know where White’s investigation was.
An investigation into alleged financial improprieties has sparked various other investigations.
Commander and Snyder have previously denied allegations of wrongdoing.
Shortly after the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, the Virginia Attorney General and Racine also launched an investigation into the team.
ESPN reported last week The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia has opened a criminal investigation into allegations of financial misconduct against the commander.
Snyder recently launched a team Sale, will hire Bank of America to facilitate a potential deal, CNBC previously reported. The deal could value Commander up to $7 billion. The NFL says any transaction must pass through the finance committee and be approved by 24 of the NFL’s 32 teams.
Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos and rapper and music giant Jay-Z Reportedly interested in bidding for the team.
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