Snyder hires team to investigate new sexual harassment allegation


Commanders owner Dan Snyder has hired an investigative team to look into the most recent allegation of sexual harassment that was levied against him last week by an ex-employee.

"The Team is committed to a thorough and independent investigation," the Commanders said in a release, one where they also pledged "full cooperation." 

The organization also said that the findings from the investigation will be released to the public once it's concluded.

ESPN's Adam Schefter was first to report the news.

Debra Wong Yang has been retained by Pallas Global Group, LLC and is set to lead the probe into the sexual harassment claim. Pallas Global Group bills itself as a monitorship and consulting firm that possesses an expertise in conducting independent reviews.

In a roundtable with the House Committee on Oversight and Reform last Thursday on Capitol Hill, Tiffani Johnston, former Washington cheerleader and later marketing and events coordinator, alleged that Snyder first put his hand on her thigh in an unwanted advance and then later attempted to guide her into his limousine on an unspecified night during her time with the organization. 

Jason Friedman, an ex-Washington vice president of sales and customer service for more than 20 years, corroborated Johnson's claims in the form of a letter that was read by the committee's chairwoman during the roundtable.

Snyder "unequivocally" denied Johnston's allegation in a statement released after the roundtable, saying, "[His wife and co-owner] Tanya [Snyder] and I will not be distracted by those with a contrary agenda from continuing with the positive personnel and cultural changes that have been made at the Team over the past 18 months, and those that we continue to make both on and off the field."


Snyder's attorney, Jordan Siev, released an additional statement on Friday, calling Johnston's assertions "false" and pointing out that Johnston "resigned [from the team] through a thankful and cheery resignation note more than 13 years ago."

In July 2020, Snyder and Washington hired DC attorney Beth Wilkinson to review the team's protocols and workplace environment, a move that was followed by multiple Washington Post stories that highlighted an apparent toxic culture for women who worked for the team.

Wilkinson's report was eventually submitted orally, and no findings stemming from it have been made public. Last Friday, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform obtained a document that indicated Snyder could have a say on whether the details of the Wilkinson Report are published.

The committee also sent a letter on Friday to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell requesting that he release the full findings from the Wilkinson Report and all documents relating that investigation by Feb. 14. The committee also declared that it would seek "alternate means" of acquiring those materials should the league fail to produce them.