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DC AG Karl Racine names the Washington Commanders, Dan Snyder, NFL, and Roger Goodell in civil lawsuit

Washington continues to be a circus

Portrait of Dan Snyder Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Another day, another reminder that Dan Snyder’s Commanders are a disaster of an organization. On Thursday, Washington, D.C., AG Karl Racine announced in a press conference that he will be bringing a civil lawsuit against the Commanders, Dan Snyder, the NFL, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for colluding to deceive residents of the District of Columbia.

This is just the latest in an ongoing saga that includes allegations of workplace harassment and misconduct and the pending sale of the franchise.

Here’s the latest on today’s press conference and the civil suit Snyder and the team are facing.

The NFL issues a statement:

Commanders issue a statement:

Update: NFL is cooperating with the investigation

Update; Mary Jo White NFL investigation:

Update: Financial improprieties/ticket deposits:

Update: DC Karl Racine has filed a civil suit against the Washington Commanders, Dan Snyder, the NFL, and Commissioner Roger Goodell

Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announced yesterday that he would be holding a press conference at noon Thursday (it will now be held at 1pm) that would have a “major announcement” involving the Washington Commanders. AGs from D.C., Maryland, and Virginia have been investigating the team since allegations of financial improprieties came out during the House Committee for Oversight and Reforms investigation into the team and owner Dan Snyder.

Former Vice President Jason Friedman, who was involved in customer relations and ticket sales, made allegations about Washington’s policies to keep season ticket holders’ security deposits. The biggest allegation he brought before the Committee was that Washington had two sets of financial books, and were running a scheme to underreport revenue from games at FedEx Field and showing that money as revenue from other, non-NFL related events.

A Washington Commanders spokesperson released this statement after news broke of today’s press conference with AG Karl Racine:

“Less than three months ago, a 23-year-old player on our team was shot multiple times, in broad daylight,” a team spokesperson said in a statement, referring to the shooting of running back Brian Robinson Jr. “Despite the out-of-control violent crime in DC, today the Washington Commanders learned for the first time on Twitter that the D.C. Attorney General will be holding a press conference to ‘make a major announcement’ related to the organization tomorrow.

The Commanders have fully cooperated with the AG’s investigation for nearly a year. As recently as Monday, a lawyer for the team met with the AG who did not suggest at that time that he intended to take any action and, in fact, revealed fundamental misunderstandings of the underlying facts. It is unfortunate that, in his final days in office, Mr. Racine appears more interested in making splashy headlines, based on offbeat legal theories, rather than doing the hard work of making the streets safe for our citizens, including bringing to justice the people who shot one of our players.”

This was considered a new low for Dan Snyder and his lawyers. They used their rookie RB, who was the victim of an attempted carjacking in D.C. where he was shot twice while trying to fend of the would-be thieves, to attack the AG, his office, and the city the team is supposed to represent. It brought near-universal condemnation from fans, reporters, and even Robinson’s agent.

Several hours later, Team President Jason Wright released a statement trying to distance the team from a statement that he says

“I just spoke to Chief Contee conveying how much we support the work of MPD, as well as public safety and elected officials working to reduce gun violence and crime across the region. The earlier statement expressed our external counsel’s ongoing frustration with the Attorney General’s office, as they have been nothing but earnest and transparent in their communications with his team. The lawyer’s legitimate frustrations with this AG should have been separate and apart from referencing the terrible crime that affected our player.”

Translation: That was all Dan’s side; we’re not classless assholes who would drag a victim into our ongoing shitstorm.

This was an embarrassing few hours for Dan Snyder and the team that I’m glad I slept through/got ready for work during. There has been a lot of speculation about what’s going to be announced today, but it is almost guaranteed that it will not end in Dan Snyder being perp-walked out of Commanders headquarters any time soon. The AG of Washington, D.C. has limited powers, and won’t be bringing criminal charges against Snyder, or any of the executives involved in his alleged financial improprieties.

The likely outcome of today’s announcement will be Karl Racine’s office will be a civil suit filed under the Consumer Protection Procedures Act. His office has the jurisdiction to investigate companies that make false, misleading, and deceptive comments to District consumers.

The Washington franchise was accused of purposely making it difficult for fans to get deposits on season tickets back. This scheme allegedly withheld up to $5 million in deposits that should have been returned to fans, one of those being NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The Commanders have reportedly been in contact with fans via letters instructing them on how to get those long-lost funds before they are turned over to the state as unclaimed property. One fan told Michael Phillips that he was asked to sign an NDA before receiving his money.