Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder sexually harassed a team employee and oversaw team executives who deliberately withheld millions of dollars in revenue from other clubs, and he has agreed to pay a $60 million fine, the league announced Thursday.
The NFL released a 23-page report detailing the findings of an independent investigation into Snyder’s conduct just minutes after its owners unanimously approved the sale of the Commanders to Josh Harris.
The investigation was led by former Securities and Exchange Commission chair Mary Jo White and conducted by her law firm, Debevoise & Plimpton. The league had pledged to make the findings of the probe public.
Investigators concluded that Washington withheld $11 million in revenue that should have been shared with other teams, an amount the report suggests might have been far greater. White’s firm was unable to reach a conclusion about tens of millions of additional dollars that might have been withheld in part because Snyder and the team did not cooperate fully with the investigation, according to the report.
The report concluded that Snyder sexually harassed former team employee Tiffani Johnston, allegations that Johnston first made last year in front of a House committee. Snyder placed his hand on Johnston’s thigh at a team dinner and pushed her toward his car as they were leaving the restaurant, the report said.
“The conduct substantiated in Ms. White’s findings has no place in the NFL,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “We strive for workplaces that are safe, respectful and professional. What Ms. Johnston experienced is inappropriate and contrary to the NFL’s values.”
Snyder has denied Johnston’s allegations and repeated that denial in an interview with White’s investigators. He only agreed to speak with investigators for one hour, the report said.
Investigators spoke with Johnston several times and “found her to be highly credible,” the report said, and her account was corroborated by witnesses and other evidence.
The firm did not conclude whether Snyder was personally aware of the financial improprieties, but witnesses told investigators that Snyder repeatedly pressured team employees to improve its financial performance, telling them, “every dollar matters.” Documents detailing how the team moved revenue into accounts that shielded the money from other teams were shared with Snyder on at least one occasion, the report said.