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Washington Football Team settled sexual misconduct claim against owner Daniel Snyder in 2009, per reports

Andrew Cuomo

The NFL’s Washington Football Team paid $1.6 million to a former employee in 2009 to settle a sexual misconduct claim she made against team majority owner Daniel Snyder, according to a report from the Washington Post. Details of the alleged incident and settlement were also reported by the New York Times.

The woman alleged that Snyder accosted her aboard Snyder’s private plane during a flight from Las Vegas to Washington in April 2009. A financial settlement was reached later that year, according to both newspapers.

The woman was later terminated by the team. The Washington Post reports that, as part of her settlement, her personnel file was amended to show that she left voluntarily. She also received a letter of recommendation from the organization.

According to the Post, neither Snyder nor the team acknowledged any wrongdoing in the agreement.

Both the Washington Football Team and the NFL declined to provide comment on the situation.

In July, the franchise launched an investigation after 15 former female employees and two journalists who covered the team accused team staffers of sexual harassment and verbal abuse.

The team said in a statement in July that it hired an attorney from an outside legal firm “to conduct a thorough independent review of this entire matter and help the team set new employee standards for the future.”

Two of the staffers named in reports retired or were fired as news of the allegations went public.

The NFL took over the investigation in August, and their findings have yet to be released.

Snyder was not directly implicated in the July investigation and denied knowledge of the allegations, saying in a statement obtained by CNN the behavior “had no place in our franchise or society.”

However, he was criticized by the former employees for what they saw as him enabling a team culture where inappropriate behavior was permitted, according to the Post’s reporting.

Days before the investigation was revealed, the team announced it was retiring its former name and logo amid mounting pressure from corporate sponsors. Snyder publicly held firm for years that the franchise would never change its name.

News of the 2009 settlement comes as the team fights for a spot in the NFL playoffs. With two weeks remaining in the regular season, Washington has a one game lead over rivals New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys for the NFC East division. A division title would be just their third in the last 20 seasons with Snyder as majority owner.

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