CHICAGO — The Chicago Blackhawks have hired a former federal prosecutor to conduct an independent review of allegations that a former player was sexually assaulted by a then-assistant coach in 2010.
CEO Danny Wirtz announced the move in an internal memo Monday morning. It also was confirmed by a person familiar with the decision who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
“An experienced team of professionals, led by former federal prosecutor Reid Schar of the law firm of Jenner & Block LLP, has been retained and is currently conducting an independent review of these allegations,” Wirtz said in the memo obtained by the AP. “Mr. Schar and his firm have significant experience conducting independent investigative reviews, have no previous ties to the Blackhawks organization, and have been directed to follow the facts wherever they lead.”
The Athletic first reported on the memo from Wirtz.
The investigation into one of the NHL’s most high-profile franchises comes after the filing of two lawsuits against the team. The first alleges sexual assault by former assistant coach Bradley Aldrich during the team’s run to the 2010 Stanley Cup title, and the second was filed by a former student whom Aldrich was convicted of assaulting in Michigan.
A former player says Aldrich assaulted him, and that the team did nothing after he informed a now-retired employee. The lawsuit, filed on May 7 in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges Aldrich also assaulted another unidentified Blackhawks player. The former player who sued and is seeking more than $150,000 in damages is referred in the document as “John Doe.”
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap