WASHINGTON - Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder is under fire again after an explosive report on Tuesday revealed that he allegedly took steps to interfere with the NFL’s investigation into the organization, including a 2009 sexual misconduct allegation against Snyder.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that attempts by Beth Wilkinson, an attorney hired by the NFL in July 2020 to conduct a probe of the team’s internal culture amid allegations of workplace misconduct, was met with pushback when attempting to interview a former Washington employee regarding a 2009 allegation against Snyder — an allegation kept quiet by $1.6 million settlement.
Sealed court records revealed that the woman’s attorney, Brendan Sullivan, accused Snyder’s legal team of attempting to silence her by offering her more money if she upheld the confidentiality of the settlement — a statement Snyder’s attorneys denied, sources with knowledge of those records told the Post.
According to the report, Wilkinson did interview the woman after the NFL released former Washington employees from their nondisclosure agreements as part of the investigation, but Wilkinson later received a letter from a firm representing Snyder and the team saying the NDAs did not apply to the 2009 settlement.
This later led to a lawsuit against Wilkinson by David Donovan, the former team’s general counsel, for investigating the allegation with regard to what it would mean for his reputation if a report on her findings were published as he oversaw the initial investigation.
David Donovan, the former team’s general counsel who oversaw the 2009 investigation, later filed a lawsuit against Wilkinson asking a judge to bar her from discussing the allegation. According to the Post, he claimed he was filing the suit to defend his reputation against criticism in the event that Wilkinson’s findings were published.
According to the Post, Wilkinson speculated in court documents that she believed Donovan was acting on the behalf of someone else, "obstructing the independent investigation designed to uncover the truth."
The report explores several other measures taken by lawyers and others working on Snyder’s behalf to allegedly intervene in the investigation, including allegations that Snyder hired private investigators to intimidate potential witnesses.
The Washington Football Team did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on the report, but A. Scott Bolden of the law firm Reed Smith, the firm representing Snyder, told the Post that the allegations are "untrue."
"It did not happen," Bolden said. "Absolutely no effort was made by me or any Reed Smith lawyers to dissuade anyone from speaking with Beth Wilkinson or otherwise cooperating with her investigation, nor was any money offered to anyone not to cooperate. Anyone suggesting something to the contrary is lying."
Snyder has since stepped down from the team’s day-to-day operations, and the NFL announced a $10 million dollar fine back in July.
Paulina Dedaj is a Digital Reporter for Fox News and Fox Business. Follow Paulina Dedaj on Twitter at @PaulinaDedaj. If you've got a tip, you can email Paulina at Paulina.Dedaj@fox.com