The Washington Football Team settled a sexual misconduct allegation regarding owner Dan Snyder with a former employee in 2009, according to multiple reports.
The New York Times reported this weekend that there was a settlement; The Washington Post received a copy of the agreement and said it was for $1.6 million. The Post, citing an anonymous source, reported it stemmed from an incident on Snyder's plane while returning from the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas.
The Times had reported Sunday that two investigations in 2009 -- by the team and an outside law firm -- failed to substantiate the woman's claim. The paper reported that Snyder paid the sum to avoid any negative publicity.
Washington Football Team spokeswoman Julie A. Jensen declined to comment. Both outlets said the woman who made the accusation was fired after making the allegations. The Times reported she was fired after "she lied to the team's lawyers."
According to the Post, a copy of the agreement did not detail the allegations, and Snyder, or the team, never admitted to any wrongdoing.
The NFL continues its investigation into the franchise, stemming from articles written by the Post this summer alleging sexual harassment by multiple former employees.
In two stories this summer, the Post reported a total of 40 women had said they were sexually harassed while employed by the franchise. The outlet also reported that there were "lewd videos produced by the team from outtakes of cheerleader calendar shoots in 2008 and 2010." Snyder has said he did not know about those videos.
The stories have come to light at the same time as the team's three minority owners have wanted to sell their shares. Fred Smith, Bob Rothman and Dwight Schar own a combined 40% of the team. The Times reported that Snyder is in talks to buy out his partners for up to $900 million, which would represent a discount. According to Forbes, Washington's franchise is valued at $3.5 billion, which means 40% would be worth $1.4 billion.
Smith had wanted to sell his shares for at least a year, but the other two did not join that quest until this past offseason. Since then, what once had been solid relationships have grown acrimonious -- particularly between Snyder and Schar. Snyder has filed suits claiming Schar was waging a smear campaign against him, using Snyder's former executive assistant Mary Ellen Blair to spread information to reporters.
There has been a back-and-forth in court between the sides. The Times reported that, according to records obtained through the filings, Blair and Schar spoke 157 times on the phone for a combined 11.6 hours.
Also, former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch was added to help investigate allegations of misconduct among Washington's owners, according to the Wall Street Journal. The paper reported that she will focus her investigation on allegations that Schar attempted to "disseminate information that would hurt or defame Snyder."
The Post reported that former Washington general counsel, David Donovan, sued Beth Wilkinson to prevent her from disclosing information "relating to a confidential settlement from 2009." Also, a filing by the minority partners Monday alleged that Snyder was the source of information.