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MSU asks Attorney General for investigation of MSU

January 19, 2018

Echoing calls from survivors of abuse, members of state government and students, MSU asked the Michigan Attorney General to investigate the university regarding the ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar cases Friday morning.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette agreed to the request in a statement and said he will provide a review, report and recommendation to MSU.

The MSU Board of Trustees held a "work session" Friday morning, a meeting that was not on its website and not open to the public.

During the work session, two letters were released calling for the investigation: one from MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon and one from the MSU Board of Trustees.

The letter from the Board of Trustees is addressed to Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

"Although we have confidence in the integrity of the various reviews already conducted by law enforcement, subject matter experts, and outside counsel to the university, we are making this request because we believe your review may be needed to answer the public's questions concerning MSU's handling of the Nassar situation," the trustees wrote.

In the letter, the trustees again said MSU is not "covering up" information about Nassar.

"As you know, these questions grew louder this week with the victim impact statements ... After watching many of these heartbreaking statements and reading accounts about them, we have concluded that only a review by your office can resolve the questions in a way that the victims, their families, and the public will deem satisfactory," they wrote.

Simon said in her statement  the testimonies of Nassar's vicitms has made her "listen to the survivors and the community in a different way."

"It is clear to the Board and me that a review by the Attorney General’s Office can provide the answers people need," Simon wrote. "As I told the Attorney General in December, MSU will fully cooperate with any inquiry by law enforcement authorities. I hope this review will help the survivors and the entire MSU community heal and move forward."

In response, Schuette released a statement, saying his focus up to this point has been prosecuting Nassar, seeking a sentence that will ensure Nassar receives a lifetime sentence, ensuring all victim impact statements are allowed and asking for a full report from MSU.

"A full and complete review, report and recommendation of what occurred at Michigan State University is required and I will provide that," Schuette said in the statement. "However, this week and the coming weeks are time for the survivors of Larry Nassar to have their day in court, and I refuse to upstage their time for healing."

Schuette also addressed an editorial The Detroit News ran Friday morning, which accused Schuette of being "curiously uninterested" in determining whether or not MSU has engaged in a "cover up."

"The Detroit News in an editorial today called me wrong and indifferent, nothing could be further from the truth, and they should issue a retraction," Schuette said in the statement.

Editor's note — This story was updated Jan. 19, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. with statement from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

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