Thursday, February 27, 2020

Michigan State to pay for ex-President Simon's criminal defense

January 23, 2019
Former Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon during her arraignment at the Eaton County Courthouse on Nov. 26, 2018. She is being charged with four counts of lying to a Peace Officer about the Nassar Investigation.
Former Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon during her arraignment at the Eaton County Courthouse on Nov. 26, 2018. She is being charged with four counts of lying to a Peace Officer about the Nassar Investigation. —
Photo by Anntaninna Biondo | The State News

Michigan State will pay for former President Lou Anna K. Simon's criminal defense, and it's legal fees relating to the ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar scandal is reaching nearly $20 million, the Lansing State Journal reports. 

The total cost to the university as of November was more than $523 million, according to records obtained by the Lansing State Journal. This includes legal fees, the $500 million settlement with hundreds of Nassar survivors, payments to consultants and the Healing Assistance Fund. 

MSU is paying for all, or part, of the defense for three former officials charged in the ongoing investigation into the university’s handling of sexual assault reports involving Nassar — Simon, former MSU dean William Strampel and former MSU gymnastics coach Kathie Klages

Two law firms have received the majority of the university's legal fees, coming to about $13.4 million. These include Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Latham & Watkins, the Lansing State Journal reported. 

Simon is facing two felony and two misdemeanor charges for lying to police. She has a preliminary hearing in Eaton County next week, which will determine if there's enough evidence against her for the case to move forward. 

The cases against Strampel and Klages are currently in Ingham County Circuit Court and could go to trial. 

MSU Spokesperson Emily Guerrant was not able to be reached in time for publication. 

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