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NFL sexual harassment investigation finds Washington Football Team paid out a confidential settlement in 2009 - but owner Daniel Snyder fights to keep the agreement sealed

 The NFL's ongoing investigation into workplace sexual harassment claims made by Washington Football Team employees has revealed a potentially relevant 2009 settlement, and now club owner Daniel Snyder is fighting to prevent details of the agreement from being made public.

In an emergency motion reviewed by DailyMail.com that was filed in a Virginia federal court on Monday, Snyder's attorneys declared that he intends to assert 'privileges and privacy' in the matter. The Washington Post was the first to report Monday's motion, which revealed the 2009 settlement.

Specifics about the deal remain under seal, but Beth Wilkinson, an attorney investigating the sexual harassment claims for the league, is currently engaged in a legal battle with the club's former counsel to reveal those details. The 2009 settlement involves 'the nature of misconduct,' according to court records.

This legal battle follows two separate Washington Post reports over the summer, in which at least 15 women made sexual harassment or other hostile workplace claims against club employees, nearly all of whom departed before or immediately after the accusations were revealed.

The NFL's ongoing investigation into workplace sexual harassment claims made by Washington Football Team employees has revealed a potentially relevant 2009 settlement, and now club owner Daniel Snyder (pictured right with Washington coach Ron Rivera) is fighting to prevent details of the agreement from being made public

The NFL's ongoing investigation into workplace sexual harassment claims made by Washington Football Team employees has revealed a potentially relevant 2009 settlement, and now club owner Daniel Snyder (pictured right with Washington coach Ron Rivera) is fighting to prevent details of the agreement from being made public

Specifics about the 2009 settlement remain under seal, but Beth Wilkinson (pictured), an attorney investigating the sexual harassment claims for the league, is currently engaged in a legal battle with the club's former counsel to reveal those details. The 2009 settlement involves 'the nature of misconduct,' according to court records

Specifics about the 2009 settlement remain under seal, but Beth Wilkinson (pictured), an attorney investigating the sexual harassment claims for the league, is currently engaged in a legal battle with the club's former counsel to reveal those details. The 2009 settlement involves 'the nature of misconduct,' according to court records

Wilkinson was sued in federal court last month by David P. Donovan, the team's counsel at the time of the 2009 settlement. 

Donovan has tried to stop Wilkinson from unsealing the deal, or even revealing its existence, by arguing that publicizing the details would 'undermine public confidence in the enforceability of confidential agreements.' (Donovan also served as the team's chief operating officer for three years)

The request was denied on November 17 and Donovan dropped the lawsuit a week later after U.S. Magistrate Judge Ivan Davis ruled that the allegations contained in the 2009 lawsuit are not sealable.


'Simply because parties don't like allegations don't mean those allegations are sealable,' Davis told Donovan's lawyers at a hearing, according to a transcript obtained by the Post. 'The fact that these details may come out, your client shouldn't file a federal lawsuit.'

Davis's ruling came with several caveats. For instance, the employee's name and title will remain redacted, as will 'references to the matter' that led to the allegations.

Wilkinson was sued in federal court last month by David P. Donovan (pictured), the team's counsel at the time of the 2009 settlement who hopes to stop her from revealing any information about the agreement, including its existence. Donovan argued that publicizing the details would 'undermine public confidence in the enforceability of confidential agreements'

Wilkinson was sued in federal court last month by David P. Donovan (pictured), the team's counsel at the time of the 2009 settlement who hopes to stop her from revealing any information about the agreement, including its existence. Donovan argued that publicizing the details would 'undermine public confidence in the enforceability of confidential agreements'

Wilkinson's legal team has continued its efforts to unseal the settlement, arguing that it relates to her own investigation of the team's allegedly hostile workplace.

After Wilkinson recently submitted redacted filings to the court, with an eye towards public disclosure, Donovan made his emergency motion on Monday seeking to delay that decision. Davis granted the motion on Monday afternoon.

Attorneys for Wilkinson and Donovan did not immediately return DailyMail.com's request for comment, nor did spokespeople for the NFL and the Washington Football Team.

Snyder has agreed to allow current and former employees to speak with investigators by releasing them from nondisclosure agreements. He has also pledged to cooperate with investigators.

Wilkinson, who previously worked with the NFL, was actually hired by Snyder to conduct the investigation when the sexual harassment allegations from the 15 women were revealed over the summer. However, in August, the league assumed oversight of her investigation, and she now reports to the league office in New York.

The 15 accusers who spoke to the Post say they endured unwelcome sexual advances, comments about their physical appearance, and verbal abuse from co-workers or male supervisors. One female employee said she was called 'f***ing stupid' and asked to wear a tight dress in a client meeting 'so the men in the room have something to look at.'

Redskins cheerleaders seen dancing as part of a 2004 event, where Tiffany Bacon Scourby claims Snyder suggested she spend some time with a close friend of his in a nearby hotel room

Redskins cheerleaders seen dancing as part of a 2004 event, where Tiffany Bacon Scourby claims Snyder suggested she spend some time with a close friend of his in a nearby hotel room

The Redskins promoted the 2013 calendar shoot on their website. Later a group of former cheerleaders claimed they were asked to pose topless in front of an all-male group of sponsors

The Redskins promoted the 2013 calendar shoot on their website. Later a group of former cheerleaders claimed they were asked to pose topless in front of an all-male group of sponsors

The Post report cited former employee Emily Applegate and 14 mostly anonymous women, many of whom claimed they were left unsupported by an understaffed human resources department.

Snyder, himself, was accused of telling a team cheerleader named Tiffany Bacon Scourby in 2004 that she should go to a hotel room with a personal friend of his so the two could 'get to know each other.'

He was also accused of warning the team's cheerleading director to ensure the dancers are 'skinny with big tits' or he would 'f***ing kill him.'

Snyder has denied both of these claims.

He recently apologized for the club's failures without addressing any specific allegation.

'Let's be really clear: This is a human issue,' Snyder told The Wall Street Journal in November. 'I'm sorry that anyone was hurt, but we can change.

'We are apologetic,' added Snyder, who has replaced the team's controversial name, its President, and the head coach since early summer.

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