The NFL has decided not to appoint Beth Wilkinson but to appoint Mary Jo White to conduct the latest investigation of Washington owner Daniel Snyder. The former employee whose allegations sparked the investigation has not yet decided to cooperate.
In a statement from her attorney, Tiffany Johnston’s preference was clear. She wants Beth Wilkinson, who conducted the original investigation, to conduct the new investigation.
“Beth Wilkinson conducted a long and comprehensive investigation with Washington’s leaders, gaining the confidence of dozens of victims and witnesses who provided her with evidence of rampant sexual harassment and abuse,” Attorney Lisa Banks said in a statement. “We understand that Ms. Wilkinson will also conduct an investigation into Tiffany Johnston’s allegations about Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder, given her unique knowledge of the Leaders Organization, its culture of sexual harassment, and the credibility of Dan Snyder. Having a new investigator, without such prior knowledge, assessing Ms. Johnson’s allegations, Denying Mr. Snyder in the void makes no sense at all. However, we will discuss with Ms. Johnston her willingness to participate, and we are pleased that the NFL has agreed to announce the results. On behalf of many of our other clients, we urge Commissioner Goodell to make the same decision regarding the investigation Mrs. Wilkinson. The results of this thorough investigation are sure to provide an important blueprint for the new investigator to conduct his work.”
Wilkinson, as reported by the PFT, had recommended that Snyder be forced to sell, if the NFL requested a written report upon completion of its 10-month review of allegations of workplace misconduct. To the extent that Johnston wanted Wilkinson to take over the investigation into Johnston’s allegations, Snyder certainly did not want Wilkinson. Indeed, it’s fair to conclude that the team’s decision to abandon plans for its own investigation and welcome White’s intervention represented a concession made when the NFL did not retain Wilkinson for the Johnston investigation.
Whether or not White is the right choice to investigate is a separate issue, which we’ll discuss in a later post.
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