Dan Snyder ordered former COO to pour milk in Nats owner's suite at FedEx Field as payback for business deal


Seemingly endless pages of reporting accompanied Wednesday’s Oversight Committee hearing looking into Dan Snyder and the workplace culture of the Commanders, but one part of the written report really stood out.

It was a written transcription of former Commanders COO David Pauken, who was deposed privately before the hearing and recounted a story where Snyder, frustrated with the price he had to pay for real estate near FedEx Field, instructed Pauken to pour milk on the carpet of Nationals owner Mark Lerner’s suite at the home of the Commanders, so the suite would smell by the time Lerner and his family arrived for the next home game.

“We completed a business deal with the Lerners that, in Dan’s view, was way too much money to pay, but we needed the parking,” Pauken’s testimony read. “Dan wanted to see Mark Lerner’s suite and we go up there to his suite. This was on a non-gameday. Dan asked me to pour milk on the carpet under the seating in Mark Lerner’s suite, so that the suite would smell like sour milk when the Lerner family came in on gameday.

“And he had [redacted] do that on another occurrence. So if you’re asking me things I regret doing, that would fall under that category. I owe Mark Lerner an apology, but I did it because Dan told me to do it.”

It doesn’t get much pettier than that from Snyder, but Pauken’s testimony also included some other damning evidence, as Pauken says Snyder coaxed him into taking a “day trip” to the 2001 Final Four, where Snyder said, “we’ve got girls lined up, and there’s one for you.”

“To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to do with that, other than to know I was in trouble here and needed to figure a way out,” Pauken testified. “And we got to Minneapolis, we get over to the hotel that we’re staying in. And there are a number of beautiful women in this hotel suite who are physically very affectionate and they — nobody said they were prostitutes. I assumed they were prostitutes. They had flown in from Dallas.”