Dan Snyder conducted ‘shadow investigation’ to discredit accusers, House committee says

Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder launched a “shadow investigation” in an attempt to discredit his accusers and influence the NFL’s internal investigation into his team’s workplace misconduct, according to a House Oversight and Reform Committee memo.

The 29-page memo details how the embattled billionaire compiled a “dossier” for former team employees involved in the investigation, their lawyers and journalists.

During the investigation, Snyder and his legal team hired private investigators and tried to offer “hush money” to dissuade those from participating, the committee said.

The memo said Snyder was trying to convince the NFL and chief investigator Beth Wilkinson, former team president Bruce Allen, that he was responsible for creating a “toxic environment” in Washington by identifying ex-emails sent by executives people.

The findings were released hours before the committee chaired a hearing in which NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell plans to testify remotely about the team’s workplace misconduct. Snyder declined an invitation to appear, objecting to the format and date of the hearing.

The committee chair, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, sent Tuesday’s memo, also aimed at the NFL, to the rest of the committee, saying the league’s investigation was not truly independent.

Maloney wrote in the memo that the committee found that Snyder’s lawyers made “multiple representations” to the league during Wilkinson’s investigation, including “involving a 100-page PowerPoint slide detailing Washington Private Communications and Social Media Activities of Post reporters and former reporters”. employee. “

“This 100-slide PowerPoint presentation dated November 23, 2020 appears to be based on private text messages, emails, phone and call logs, and social media posts from nearly 50 people whom Mr. Snyder apparently believes was involved in a conspiracy disparaging him, including his allegations of conspiring with a former minority owner against his former employee 1,” the memo read.

In 2020, Snyder was embroiled in a protracted legal dispute with his now former minority partner, who wanted to sell a 40% stake in his team. After skirmishes in court, Snyder and partners eventually reached a deal in which Snyder bought the shares for $875 million — giving Snyder and his family full control of the club.

The memo further detailed testimony from former Washington employees who described a toxic workplace culture pattern. The team’s former chief operating officer, David Parken, told the committee that Snyder fired female employees who had consensual relationships with male employees, while male employees went unpunished.

Pauken also accused a coach of groping a female employee, and when informed of the incident, Snyder instructed the woman to “stay away from the coach.”

Brian Lafemina, the team’s former chief operating officer, said he told Snyder about a sexual harassment complaint from former player Larry Michael.

Lafemina said Snyder dismissed the complaints, calling Michael a “sweetheart.” Michael retired from the team in the summer of 2020, just before a Washington Post article appeared in which former employees accused him of sexual misconduct.

The NFL fined the commanding $10 million in July 2021 and said Snyder would voluntarily step away from the club’s day-to-day control within a few months. The league has been criticized for not publishing a written report on Wilkinson’s findings.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee began investigating the coalition and commanders last fall.

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