Lydia Wahlke has resigned as chief legal officer of the U.S. Soccer Federation, two months after she was placed on administrative leave.
The federation announced her departure in a note to staff Thursday and said she will be a consultant through Sept. 15.
Wahlke was put on leave after USSF president Carlos Cordeiro resigned March 12 and was replaced by former national team player Cindy Parlow Cone, who had been vice president. Parlow Cone said the USSF legal process will be reviewed.
The shakeup occurred after the law firm representing the USSF in a lawsuit by women’s national team players filed papers in federal court claiming the women’s team didn’t have the physical abilities or the same responsibilities as the men’s team. That sparked a furor that included an on-field protest by players wearing their warm-up jerseys inside out to hide the USSF crest. The federation then changed its law firm in the case.
Parlow Cone says she hopes to settle the suit by players, who asked for more than $66 million in damages.
“It should be clear that while Carlos Cordeiro did not review or approve of the offensive language in the filing, by personally resigning he decided to put the best interest of U.S. Soccer first,” Parlow Cone said in a statement.
A judge did not allow the players' claim of discriminatory wages to go to trial, a decision players have asked for permission to appeal. Their claim of discriminatory working conditions remains scheduled for trial starting Sept. 15.
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