Washington commanders are refuting a report that they withheld ticket revenue from visiting teams, with a former employee’s attorney responding by accusing the team of defamation.
A team spokeswoman said in a statement sent to The Associated Press and other media on Monday that there was “absolutely no withholding of ticket revenue at any time.” She added that the earnings are subject to independent audit by multiple parties and “anyone who has testified suggesting withholding of earnings has committed perjury, plain and simple.”
The statement came two days after Front Office Sports reported, citing sources, that the US Congressional House Oversight Committee had received reports indicating that Washington had withheld ticket revenue. Front Office Sports reported that at least one person gave information to congressional investigators alleging the team failed to pass on the 40% of ticket revenue required by NFL rules.
After the team’s statement, the attorney for former Washington vice president of sales and customer service Jason Friedman criticized the team for denying the report and accusing him of perjury.
“They defamed my client, Jason Friedman, who came forward at the request of the Congressional Oversight Committee and testified honestly, with evidence,” Lisa Banks said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Mr. Friedman is unable to defend himself publicly due to contractual constraints that prevent him from speaking freely. He would be happy to recount his testimony if Dan Snyder and the commanders in Washington would allow him.
Congress began investigating the team earlier this year after the league failed to release a written report investigating sexual harassment within the organization. Front Office Sports and The Washington Post reported last week that the investigation had widened to include the finances of the team which has been owned by Dan Snyder since 1999.
Austin Hacker, the Republican spokesman on the oversight committee, in a statement called it a “leak of one-sided, unconfirmed and unsubstantiated allegations from a disgruntled ex-employee with an ax to grind.” . He added: “Nothing the committee has heard from any credible witness points to financial irregularities.
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