NFL hires former SEC chair to investigate Washington Commanders’ owner
The NFL has hired former Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White to investigate an allegation that the Washington Commanders' owner sexually harassed a team employee over a decade ago.
Driving the news: After the investigation, White will detail her findings in a written report that will then be released publicly, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said, according to the AP.
The big picture: The Washington Commanders and owner Dan Snyder have long been embroiled in controversy over the franchise's workplace culture.
- He was fined $10 million last year after a previous investigation found high-ranking team employees mistreated and sexually harassed women.
How we got here: Former Washington employee Tiffani Johnston testified before Congress earlier this month and alleged that Snyder groped her and made unwanted advances toward her.
- Snyder denied the allegations and said they were "outright lies."
- “I unequivocally deny having participated in any such conduct, at any time and with respect to any person," he said.
Between the lines: White's investigation will be made public, something that was not done after the initial investigation into Washington's workplace culture.
- The House Committee on Oversight and Reform, as well as the team's former employees, have been critical of the NFL's decision to not release documents from the probe.
- But league commissioner Roger Goodell said he has not done so in order to "protect the anonymity of team employees," AP writes.
Background: White previously investigated Jerry Richardson, the former Carolina Panthers' owner, who was accused of sexual harassment and using a racial slur, ESPN writes.
- Her probe found him at fault and he was fined $2.75 million.
What they're saying: The Commanders said they would "cooperate fully" with White and would not start their own investigation into the allegations.
- "Given the Team's confidence in Ms. White's ability to conduct such a full and fair investigation, the Commanders will not separately pursue an investigation and will cooperate fully with Ms. White," the team said in a statement.