Blackhawks will publicly release findings of sexual assault investigation

Blackhawks will publicly release findings of sexual assault investigation

The Blackhawks said Monday they will disclose the findings of an investigation currently being conducted by a Chicago law firm. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

CEO Danny Wirtz said in a Monday memo the team will “promptly implement changes to address the findings and any shortcomings of our organization.”

The Blackhawks finally committed Monday to publicly releasing the findings of an ongoing sexual assault investigation.

CEO Danny Wirtz wrote in an internal memo that the results of the investigation — which began June 28 and is being conducted by the Chicago law firm Jenner & Block — will be shared with employees, partners and fans.

“[We] will promptly implement changes to address the findings and any shortcomings of our organization,” Wirtz added. “We are using this process to engage in the self-reflection necessary to better our organization and ensure that our workplace is safe and inclusive. And while we await the results, we will continue a process of self-evaluation and take important steps to better our organization.”

The investigation stems from two lawsuits claiming the Hawks grossly mishandled an alleged May 2010 sexual assault of a player by former video coach Bradley Aldrich.

The lawsuits claim Hawks management, including then-president John McDonough and current general manager Stan Bowman, was informed of Aldrich’s alleged assault but refused to report the incident to police. They also claim the Hawks later recommended Aldrich for a job at a Michigan high school where he went on to assault a 16-year-old student. The Hawks have filed pending motions to dismiss both lawsuits.

Several key witnesses, including the anonymous assault victim as well as outspoken 2010 defenseman Brent Sopel, had previously said they wouldn’t participate in the investigation unless its findings would be made public.

Bowman reiterated Monday he will “cooperate fully,” saying Wirtz was “very clear on the direction the organization is taking.”

Bowman also addressed his role as GM of the 2022 U.S. Olympic hockey team: “USA Hockey has been in close contact with the Blackhawks on a variety of topics, [but] I’m not really involved in those conversations.”

Latest Category Posts