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Commanders launch investigation into sexual harassment allegations

Jan 2, 2020; Ashburn, VA, USA; Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder speaks during the introductory press conference for head coach Ron Rivera at Inova Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Commanders have hired a high-powered legal team to investigate allegations of sexual harassment made last week by a former team employee against owner Daniel Snyder.

In a news release Wednesday, the Commanders said a group led by Debra Wong Yang, a prominent attorney who is a former California state judge, U.S. attorney and Los Angeles police commissioner, will lead the investigation.

The group is tasked with looking into sexual harassment allegations made last week before Congress by Tiffani Johnston, a former cheerleader and marketing manager for the team. She said that at a team dinner, Snyder reached under the table and put his hand on her thigh and later put his hand on her lower back to try to push her toward his limousine.

“The Team is committed to a thorough and independent investigation of Ms. Johnston’s allegation, and pledges full cooperation with the investigation,” the Commanders said in a news release.

Other members of the investigative team include former U.S. attorneys Bonnie Jonas and Tiffany Moller of the Pallas Global Group LLC.

Johnston was one of six former team employees who shared experiences during a roundtable discussion with the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which is looking into reports that Snyder ran a workplace with a “toxic” culture.

Snyder has denied the allegations against him but issued a statement last week acknowledging past “misconduct” within the organization.

“While past conduct at the Team was unacceptable, the allegations leveled against me personally in today’s roundtable — many of which are well over 13 years old — are outright lies,” Snyder said in a statement following the Feb. 3 testimony. “I unequivocally deny having participated in any such conduct, at any time and with respect to any person.”

The team said findings of the investigation will be released to the public but gave no timeline.

–Field Level Media

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