NFL investigation of Washington Football Team uncovers confidential settlement
By Beth Reinhard, Liz Clarke and Will Hobson
The NFL’s investigation into allegations of workplace sexual harassment at the Washington Football Team has uncovered a confidential settlement from a decade ago, court records show, and an emergency motion filed Monday said team owner Daniel Snyder plans to intervene in a legal dispute over which details surrounding the settlement can become public.
The name of the complainant in the settlement, that person’s job and the nature of the allegations have not been made public, but the available records show lawyer Beth Wilkinson, who is leading the league’s probe into the team’s workplace, encountering resistance from the team’s former lawyer.
David P. Donovan, who served as the team’s general counsel from 2005 to 2011, sued Wilkinson last month in federal court in Virginia to stop her from disclosing information pertaining to a 2009 confidential agreement to which Donovan is a party. In the suit filed Nov. 9, Donovan sought to keep private all court records, including any public notice of the lawsuit itself, arguing that making the proceedings public would “undermine public confidence in the enforceability of confidential agreements between private parties.” That request was denied Nov. 17.
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