Monday, October 26, 2020

Former U.S. Attorney assisting MSU with Nassar case

February 21, 2017
Defense attorney Shannon Smith whispers to her client, former MSU employee Larry Nassar, during the preliminary examination on Feb. 17, 2017 at 55th District Court in Mason, Mich. The preliminary examination occurred as a result of former MSU employee Larry Nassar's alleged sexual abuse.
Defense attorney Shannon Smith whispers to her client, former MSU employee Larry Nassar, during the preliminary examination on Feb. 17, 2017 at 55th District Court in Mason, Mich. The preliminary examination occurred as a result of former MSU employee Larry Nassar's alleged sexual abuse. —
Photo by Nic Antaya | and Nic Antaya The State News

MSU Board of Trustees Chairman Brian Breslin announced in a statement at the Board of Trustees meeting on Friday that MSU hired Patrick Fitzgerald, a former federal prosecutor and United States attorney, to provide guidance on the former MSU employee Larry Nassar case. 

Fitzgerald, a former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, has worked on cases that led to conviction of two former Illinois governors, Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan. Fitzgerald also served as lead counsel in the U.S. case against Osama Bin Laden.

Breslin said the board is "deeply concerned about the allegations of sexual assault against former MSU doctor Larry Nassar connected to his work at MSU" and said MSU has been responsive to the situation.

Breslin also said two law firms have been engaged to represent the university in all aspects of this matter. Skadden Arps law firm has been engaged since October 2016 and the Miller Canfield law firm has been engaged since January 2017.

"This representation includes conducting the factual review necessary to address the allegations being made and to assess Nassar's former work at the university, including his work with MSU Athletics," Breslin said. "The legal team, led by Patrick Fitzgerald, a former federal prosecutor and United States attorney, has also been providing guidance on how the university can best conduct the factual review so as to not interfere with the separate investigations being led by the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Michigan Attorney General."

Breslin said the board acknowledges and appreciates the courage of each person who does come forward to report offenses.

Breslin said the board will not make any additional comments on the issue at this time. 

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