Gov. Snyder sued to compel inquiry into removing MSU Board of Trustees
A lawsuit has been filed against Gov. Rick Snyder to inquire into the removal of the MSU Board of Trustees.
Public affairs consultant Dennis Lennox filed the suit. Lennox said he had previously petitioned the governor for the removal of both the Board of Trustees and President Lou Anna K. Simon.
"The suit only seeks the compelling of an inquiry because the court — as my attorney stated in the release — the court cannot compel the removal of the board," Lennox said.
The state constitution gives the governor authority to remove any public officer, not including judges and legislators.
However, under state law, the authority to conduct an inquiry or remove board members falls to the state legislature when the legislature is in session, according to Snyder's press secretary Anna Heaton.
Lennox said in a statement the lawsuit is being served because of the board's mishandling of the Nassar scandal. On Wednesday, Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison on seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
“The record is clear that the highest levels of Michigan State University failed to safeguard,” Lennox said in the press release.
“It is in part a reaction to the merry-go-round of deflection of responsibility as well as the callous attitude of MSU trustees toward the victims," Jeffrey Hank, Lennox's attorney, said in the same statement.
The suit calls for the removal of the entire board, including Mitch Lyons and Dianne Byrum, the two trustees who had previously called for Simon's resignation.
According to the press release, the last known action of this kind was taken in 2008, when then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm held an inquiry on the removal of then-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
This story was updated at 3:54 p.m. on Jan. 25.