NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has appointed Ted Wells, a prominent
New York-based criminal lawyer, to direct an independent investigation
into issues of workplace conduct involving the Miami Dolphins.
Wells will prepare a report for Goodell that will be made public.
BAD BEHAVIOR: Incognito has history of issues
Wells will conduct a thorough and objective investigation," Goodell
said in a statement the league issued Wednesday. "He will ensure that we
have all the facts so that we can address this matter constructively."
is the same lawyer who handled the special investigations into the
Syracuse University basketball team sexual harassment case and the NBA
players union leadership dispute - the latter ending in a report that
led to a change in the head of the union.
He "will have full
authority to investigate as he deems appropriate," Goodell's statement
said, adding that Wells is on the job immediately and will try to
complete his work as quickly as possible, though no set timetable has
The investigation was announced Sunday, shortly
after the representatives for Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin handed
over alleged evidence of harassment by guard Richie Incognito that led
to Martin's departure from the team last week.
"I am pleased to
accept this appointment by Commissioner Goodell," Wells said. "My task
is to assemble the facts and present my findings to the commissioner. I
will do so fairly and comprehensively so that Commissioner Goodell can
address this matter properly."
Incognito, 30, was suspended for
conduct detrimental to the club Sunday night. Under the terms of the
collective-bargaining agreement his suspension can last no longer than
Martin, 24, remains on the Dolphins' active roster but
is undergoing counseling in California, a person with knowledge of the
situation told USA TODAY Sports on Monday. The person spoke on condition
of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly on the
Dolphins coach Joe Philbin has said he and the team
weren't aware of any alleged harassment until Martin's reps provided
"Under league policy, all employees have the
right to a workplace free of any form of harassment," Goodell said. "We
are fully committed to an appropriate working environment for all NFL
The NFL Players Association released a statement
Tuesday saying it will "insist on a fair investigation for all involved.
We will continue to remain in contact with the impacted players, their
representatives and player leadership."