March 3, 2024

Washington Chiefs owner Dan Snyder fined $60 million in sexual harassment and financial misconduct probe

The NFL fined outgoing Washington Chiefs owner Dan Snyder a whopping $60 million after independent investigation determined that Snyder sexually harassed a staff member and that executives under his leadership engaged in financial misconduct, the league announced Thursday.

The news comes on the same day Snyder’s fellow NFL owners unanimously approved his $6 billion sale of the franchise to a group led by Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris.

The independent investigation was led by Mary Jo White, former chairwoman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Snyder will pay “$60 million to the league in settlement of Ms. White’s findings and all outstanding matters,” the NFL said in a news release.

White’s 23 page report Snyder determined that Snyder sexually harassed former cheerleader and marketer Tiffani Johnston, who left the team in 2008, during and after dinner at a Washington, DC, restaurant in 2005 or 2006.

“We spoke with Ms. Johnston several times and found her to be very credible,” the report read. “Witnesses and other evidence also confirmed her account of the incident.”

Dan Snyder
Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder on the field before the Dallas Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium on Oct. 2, 2022, in Arlington, Texas.

John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The report also contained a claim by former employee Jason Friedman, who was with the team from 1996 to 2020, that the Chiefs hid revenue from the NFL.

White and her investigators determined that the Chiefs “misappropriated” about $11 million that was supposed to be shared with the NFL as part of its revenue sharing requirements. ​​​​The team also received an undisclosed additional amount of income from hidden ticket, parking and licensing fees, the report found.

However, White’s investigation was “inconclusive” as to Snyder’s “personal involvement” in concealing that income.

“The conduct evidenced by Ms. White’s findings has no place in the NFL,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “We strive for a safe, respectful and professional workplace. What Ms. Johnston suffered is inappropriate and contrary to the values ​​of the NFL.”

Since buying the Commanders in 1999, Snyder’s ownership tenure has been plagued with issues. Last year, the House Oversight and Reform Committee did determined that he interfered with a separate NFL investigation by attorney Beth Wilkinson into allegations of sexual harassment by team executives.

The NFL in 2021 the team was fined $10 million in response to the Wilkinson report, which found the franchise maintained a toxic workplace culture.

Lisa J. Banks and Debra S. Katz, attorneys who represent more than 40 employees of former Commanders, including Johnston and Friedman, in a statement Thursday called White’s report “full vindication” of their clients.

“Although today is a long day coming for our clients – and clearly a day to celebrate their victory – we would be remiss not to ask why, after being informed repeatedly of the numerous allegations against Mr. Snyder – through the testimony of our clients, the investigation of Beth Wilkinson and the investigation of Congress – the NFL and Roger Goodell allowed him to retain ownership, the results of his own account investigation were buried,” said the most important attorney and helped to avoid it.

According to the NFL, White’s 17-month investigation involved interviews with “dozens of witnesses” and reviews of more than 10,000 documents.

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