NFL takes over investigation of Washington Football Team

The former logo for the Washington football team is seen on the sides of the seats before an NFL football practice at FedEx Field, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
The former logo for the Washington football team is seen on the sides of the seats before an NFL football practice at FedEx Field, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The NFL has taken over the independent investigation into workplace conduct within the Washington Football Team, owner Dan Snyder confirmed Monday.

Snyder said in a statement he and his wife, Tanya, suggested to Commissioner Roger Goodell the NFL assume full oversight of the review “so that the results are thorough, complete and trusted by the fans, the players, our employees and the public.” He said the organization remains committed to fully cooperating with the investigation.

Last month, after The Washington Post reported 15 female former employees saying they were sexually harassed during their time with the team, Snyder hired Washington law firm Wilkinson Walsh LLP to review the team’s culture, policies and allegations of workplace misconduct. Attorney Beth Wilkinson now reports directly to the league office.

The change of course comes less than a week since the Post reported additional examples of workplace sexual harassment, along with allegations that Snyder was personally involved.

Lawyers Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent more than 15 former team employees, met with NFL senior vice president and special counsel for investigations Lisa Friel on Monday. The law firm of Katz, Marshall and Banks LLP sent a letter to Goodell on Thursday asking the league to launch its own investigation.

“Our clients would gladly participate in such an NFL investigation but do not feel safe speaking to investigators hired by Mr. Snyder and do not trust the investigation that is currently underway," Banks and Katz wrote in the letter.

Banks and Katz called their meeting a “productive discussion” and said they learned the NFL and the team agreed to release current and former employees from any non-disclosure agreements so they can speak with investigators.

“We are pleased and encouraged that the league is taking this matter seriously and we expect that it will take appropriate action against Daniel Snyder and the Washington Football Team upon conclusion of the investigation," they said.