The scheduled to listen for June 22 at 10 a.m. on Capitol Hill.
“[G]Due to the Commission’s refusal to respond to my request for a hearing adjournment and its unwillingness to recognize Mr. Snyder’s interests in a manner consistent with basic fairness and due process, Mr. Snyder is unable to attend the hearing scheduled by the Commission for June 22, 2022,” attorney Karen Patton Seymour wrote in the letter.
“Mr. Snyder, along with Ms. Snyder and the team, remains fully prepared to cooperate with the Committee in all other respects, including by further discussing reasonable requests regarding his potential appearance, and by providing information to the Committee about notable changes made by the Leaders to improve and enhance the experience of all employees of the leaders.”
It remains unclear whether Goodell has acceded to the commission’s request. Several people familiar with the situation said they expected Goodell to testify.
“The committee intends to move forward with this session,” a committee spokesman said. “We are currently reviewing Mr. Snyder’s letter and will respond.”
The NFL did not immediately respond Wednesday to a request for comment.
Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, attorneys who represent more than 40 former employees of the team, called the committee to issue a subpoena to compel Snyder to testify.
“We are disappointed with our customers but not surprised that Dan Snyder doesn’t have the courage to show up voluntarily,” Banks and Katz said in a statement. “We fully expect the committee to issue a subpoena to compel Mr. Snyder to attend. It is time for Mr. Snyder to know that he is not above the law.”
A letter Wednesday from Snyder’s attorneys was addressed to Rep. Caroline B. Maloney (DNY), the committee’s chairwoman, and Rep. Raja Krishnamurthy (D), the chair of the subcommittee on economic and consumer policy.
In the letter, Snyder’s attorney wrote that “although the Commission indicated that the hearing would ‘focus on’ historical workplace culture issues, it was informed that the Commission would make no assurance that questions directed to Mr. Snyder would be limited to these issues, given the liberty The broad scope afforded to members to ask questions beyond the topics set by the committee.”
Seymour cited Snyder’s “protracted leadership-related trade dispute” and his plans to exit the country on the June 22 hearing date; and concerns about issues of “basic concepts of justice and due process,” given the commission’s refusal to meet requests for more information and documentation that Snyder’s attorneys mentioned in a June 6 letter to the commission’s attorneys and discussed in a follow-up conversation the next day.
The letter refers to information requested by Snyder’s attorney to assess whether he will participate in the hearing. includes the materials and matters it is expected to handle; Emphasize that questions will be limited to “historic workplace culture issues” within the team; The identity of any other witnesses who testified about the team and/or [Snyder]whether any of these witnesses made allegations about the team and/or [Snyder]the substance of any such allegations”; and copies of documents about which committee members intend to question Snyder, which Seymour wrote are “a compliment I understand often extend to witnesses in congressional hearings.”
“The refusal to provide such basic information that would enable a witness to defend himself or even respond fully during a public hearing runs counter to basic notions of fairness and due process, particularly in light of the pending investigations addressing similar allegations,” Seymour wrote.
Seymour also wrote that the committee “will not consider my offer to suggest another knowledgeable witness” to attend next week’s hearing on behalf of the panel.
The Commission submitted its requests to Snyder and Goodell in separate letters sent on 1 June from Maloney and Krishnamurthy. In those letters, the committee requested responses by June 6.
A spokesperson for the committee said last week that the committee had been “in contact” with the NFL and leaders.
The committee’s June 1 letters said the hearing “will address the toxic culture of Washington leaders in the workplace and the NFL’s handling of the issue. It will also examine the NFL’s role in setting and enforcing standards across the league, which is an example A pioneer for other American workplaces.”
The commission’s investigations also revealed Allegations of financial impropriety The involvement of the team and Schneider.
Committee Republicans have criticized Democrats’ examination of the team’s workplace as an abuse of the committee’s time and resources amid more pressing national concerns. Democrats responded that the issues being examined in this case apply to other workplaces.
“The hearing will help inform legislative efforts to enhance protections for employees in all workplaces, including legislative efforts to prevent and address toxic work environments and workplace investigation processes; strengthen protections for women in the workplace; and address the use of non-disclosure agreements to prevent disclosure of unfair employment practices legal, including sexual harassment,” Maloney and Krishnamurthy wrote in letters to Goodell and Snyder.
Tiffany Johnston, former cheerleader and marketing director for the team, He told the committee During a congressional roundtable on February 3, Snyder harassed her at a group dinner, put his hand on her thigh and pressed her toward his limousine. She was among six former employees who appeared at the roundtable to talk about their experiences working with the team.
Snyder described the accusations directly against him as “blatant lies.”
The NFL is conduct her second investigation from the team. This review is led by attorney Mary Jo White, a former US attorney for the Southern District of New York and former chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The NFL said it would release the results of White’s investigation.
After a previous investigation by attorney Beth Wilkinson Allegations of sexual harassment Within the organization, the NFL announced in July 2021 that the team He was fined $10 million and that Snyder’s wife, Tanya, the team’s co-CEO, will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the franchise for an indefinite period.
If the latest allegations are substantiated by the White investigation, several owners said at the league’s quarterly meeting last month, they would Will support meaningful punishment For an NFL-enforced Snyder, it was probably a big comment. Several owners said they were not aware of any efforts to ascertain the level of support to remove Snyder from his team’s ownership. Such a move would require 24 votes from among the 32 teams in the NFL.
The Allegations of financial impropriety It was detailed in a 20-page letter the commission sent in April to the Federal Trade Commission. That letter detailed allegations made by Jason Friedman, a former vice president of sales and customer service who had worked with the team for 24 years. According to the letter, Friedman accused the team with withholding up to $5 million in refundable deposits from season ticket holders and also hiding money that was supposed to be shared between the NFL owners.
leaders He denied any financial wrongdoing. The team’s attorney wrote in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission that the allegations were “unfounded” and asserted that “there is no justification for an investigation.”
The FTC has not commented on its response to the commission’s request for an investigation other than acknowledging receipt of the commission’s letter.
The offices of Attorney General Jason S. Miyares (right) of Virginia and Karl A. Racine (D) of the District of Columbia announce They conduct their own investigations.
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