Lawyer: Miss America report finding no bullying a whitewash

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Hours after a new Miss America was crowned, the Miss America Organization released a report Monday denying the outgoing one had been bullied by pageant leaders including chairwoman Gretchen Carlson.

The lawyer for former Miss America Cara Mund called the report, commissioned by the Miss America Organization, “dishonest” and “a complete whitewash.”

Mund was not interviewed for the report. She had offered to meet with an investigator working on the report after the next Miss America was crowned Sunday, but pageant officials insisted it had to happen before then.

The report was intended to put an end to a turbulent year in which the former leaders of the Miss America Organization were forced from office by a misogynistic email scandal, new female leaders took over and dropped the swimsuit competition, state pageant officials revolted against the new leadership, and Mund herself took the extraordinary step of saying Carlson and CEO Regina Hopper bullied her.

But it does not appear the issue is going away anytime soon.

“None of the information gathered indicates that she was treated in a way which would be considered inappropriate either in a typical business setting or in this particular work context,” read the report, which was carried out by a third party employment practices consulting firm hired by the Miss America Organization.

Roger Haber, Mund’s attorney, rejected the report.

“This document is not only dishonest, but a complete whitewash,” he said. “It contains a series of unsupported conclusions, without any factual basis. It was what we expected when the MAO decided to proceed without speaking with Miss America 2018 Cara Mund, the person who raised the allegations in the first place.”

In a letter sent to former Miss Americas in August, Mund broke her silence about how she feels she was treated under Carlson and Hopper’s leadership.

“Let me be blunt: I strongly believe that my voice is not heard nor wanted by our current leadership; nor do they have any interest in knowing who I am and how my experiences relate to positioning the organization for the future,” Mund wrote.

The report also found no evidence to support claims that Mund was silenced or retaliated against for raising concerns about her treatment.