Virginia AG launches an investigation into the commanders

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ASHBURN, Va. The Virginia Attorney General’s Office will open an investigation into allegations that Washington Commanders were involved in financial unfairness, according to a letter it sent to the franchise on Monday.

The letter comes after the House Oversight and Reform Committee sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission on April 12th. That letter was also sent to Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares’ office as well as to the Attorney Generals of Maryland and Washington, DC, informing them of alleged financial inadequacies from the team.

Miyares told the team that he felt it was his “responsibility to carefully examine the material facts after they were brought to my attention.”

In the letter to Washington’s attorney, Jordan Siev, Miyares called for “full cooperation and transparency” during their investigation.

“I have not pre-judged the problems,” Miyares wrote.

The commanders on Monday referred to an earlier statement by a spokesman for the team, which read: “The team categorically rejects any proposal of economic inadequacy of any kind at any time. We adhere to strict internal processes that comply with industry and accounting standards have been revised. annually by a globally respected independent auditing firm, and is also subject to regular audits by the NFL.

The investigation will be led by Steven Popps, Deputy Attorney General for the Civil Service. It will involve the consumer protection section with the civil department, but can be extended to the criminal justice department based on the results.

Former Washington staffer Jason Friedman, a former vice president of sales and customer service, made the allegations during an interview with the committee on March 14. Friedman, who spent 24 years with the team before being fired in October 2020, arranged for email exchanges with former senior officials.

Friedman accused the team of withholding a security deposit from season ticket holders – or making them difficult to obtain – and of keeping two books of accounts so they could keep money that would have been earmarked for the NFL’s revenue-sharing pool.

The team responded with a 105-page document, which it also sent to the FTC on April 18, dismissing the allegations. They included emails that, they say, provided evidence that they had properly accounted for revenue, as well as signed statements from four former senior team officials.

The team also said that Friedman, as they called a dissatisfied former employee, would not have been included in financial or accounting meetings and therefore would not have complete knowledge of their financial affairs.

“We are pleased that Virginia’s Attorney General will conduct an official investigation into the facts our client revealed about his experiences while working for Washington Commanders,” a statement from Friedman’s attorneys said. “He is prepared to cooperate fully and answer any questions from the Virginia Attorney General’s office or any other government agency.”

Also, DC Attorney General Karl Racine announced Monday that his office has been investigating commanders and owner Dan Snyder regarding allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace. Racine’s office is also investigating Washington’s ticket sales practices. Their study of workplace culture started last fall.

According to a spokesman, his office has collected more than half a million pages of documents from the Commanders and the NFL.

In a statement, Racine said: “The disturbing details of misconduct by the Washington Commanders and Dan Snyder that we have seen in extensive public reporting are deeply worrying. No one should be abused in the workplace and no organization can evade the law. The Commanders “Players and staff, and the residents of the district, deserve a thorough investigation that determines exactly what happened and holds them responsible for any illegal behavior.”

Congress also continues to examine Washington’s workplace culture. During a roundtable session on Feb. 3, former Washington employee Tiffani Johnston claimed that owner Dan Snyder put his hand on her leg during a dinner party and also tried to force her into his limousine, an account Friedman confirmed.

The NFL is also investigating Johnston’s claim. She did not speak to attorney Beth Wilkinson during the league’s preliminary investigation, which resulted in a $ 10 million fine by the franchise.

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