DC Attorney General Karl Racine announced a lawsuit against the controversial Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder, the team and the NFL on Thursday.
Racine alleged that all the parties in the case colluded to deceive the DC residents about an NFL investigation regarding the allegations of the team’s toxic workplace culture and sexual assault.
The NFL issued a $10 million fine to the Commander last year after an independent investigation by attorney Beth Wilkinson found out that many female employees have reportedly experienced sexual harassment, but the full report was never released.
"The Commanders and Dan Snyder lied to D.C. residents about what they knew about a toxic culture of sexual harassment and then they entered into a secret agreement with the NFL and Commissioner Goodell that kept the truth from DC residents - all in an effort to protect their profits," Racine said on Thursday.
"In DC, you can't lie to consumers to enrich yourself and get away with it. That's what this lawsuit is about: standing up for DC residents who were deceived and misled. No one - not even Mr Snyder - is above the law."
The Commanders’ attorneys told ESPN that Snyder had acknowledged that an unacceptable workplace culture was present within the organization for several years and had apologized for allowing that to happen.
"Although the lawsuit repeats a lot of innuendo, half-truths and lies, we welcome this opportunity to defend the organization," the attorneys said.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league had made a public statement about Wilkinson's findings and rejected the lawsuit. The league said, "legally unsound and factually baseless allegations made today by the D.C. Attorney."
Racine is planning to subpoena Snyder, Goodell and others for sworn testimony and said that the defendants could face huge dollars in penalties. He wants a court order to force the NFL to release the full findings of Wilkinson's 10-month investigation. Racine also warned that Snyder wouldn’t avoid the lawsuit by selling the team.