- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Former Washington president Bruce Allen testified Tuesday in a deposition for the House Oversight and Reform Committee, the congressional panel investigating owner Dan Snyder and the Commanders’ workplace misconduct. 

The interview, closed to the public, was scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. Allen’s participation in the probe comes more than a month after the committee interviewed Snyder for nearly 11 hours on July 28. As with Snyder, Allen’s deposition took place remotely over Zoom. 

“The Committee is continuing to investigate the decades-long workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders and the NFL’s failure to address it,” a committee spokesperson said in a statement. “Mr. Allen served in senior roles under team owner Dan Snyder for many years, so his testimony is important for the Committee to fully understand these serious issues and advance reforms to protect works in the future.” 

Allen was issued a subpoena to compel his testimony, a committee spokesperson said. 

In June, the committee released a memo that said, during the NFL’s probe of the team’s workplace, Snyder tried to convince the league and lead investigator Beth Wilkinson that Allen was the one responsible for “creating a toxic environment at the Washington Commanders by identifying “thousands of emails” that the executive had sent. 

Snyder, the memo reads, also attempted to “deflect responsibility” by noting Allen was “really in charge of day-to-day operations at the club” and therefore responsible. The committee, in its memo, found Snyder ran a “shadow investigation” during the league’s probe in which he tried to discredit his accusers. At least 40 women said they experienced or witnessed sexual harassment while working for the team, leading the NFL to fine the franchise $10 million in July 2021.

Allen worked closely with Snyder for a decade. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders executive was hired to be the team’s general manager in December 2009 and was employed until the end of the 2019 season, when Snyder fired Allen after the team had gone 62-100-1 in his tenure.

The split appeared to turn contentious. In April 2021, Snyder, through his attorney, asked a federal judge in Arizona to compel Allen to turn over documents — such as text messages and emails — that would be used in the owner’s defamation lawsuit against an Indian-based media company that baselessly linked him to Jeffrey Epstein. Snyder believed that Allen had “specific knowledge of the creation and distribution” of those articles.

According to a court document filed a month later, Allen revealed he sought NFL arbitration after Snyder “attempted to use the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity” to withhold 50% of what was left on the executive’s contract in April 2020. Jordan Siev, an attorney for Dan Snyder, told The Athletic that the parties had eventually reached a confidential settlement, an agreement he said that Allen “has chosen to violate” by disclosing the information in a court filing. 

Snyder’s pursuit of having a subpoena issued to Allen was dropped in August 2021. 

The Oversight committee began investigating Snyder, the Commanders and the NFL last fall after renewed criticism that the league did not release a written report of its probe into Washington’s workplace. The inquiry was launched shortly after then-Raiders coach Jon Gruden resigned for using derogatory language in emails sent to Allen and others over a decade when he worked for ESPN.

The messages, uncovered in the league’s probe of Washington, were leaked to reporters. Gruden has since sued the NFL, accusing them of leaking the emails — a claim the league denies. 

In February, former Washington employee Tiffani Johnston told members of Congress that Snyder made an unwanted sexual advance at a work dinner when he put his hand on her thigh underneath a table and later tried to coax her into his limo. Snyder denied the claim, but it caused the NFL to launch another probe into the owner. 

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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