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East Lansing City Council calls on Michigan State to release its Larry Nassar documents

March 24, 2021
<p>The Michigan State Spartan logo on a building, photographed Aug. 31, 2020.</p>

The Michigan State Spartan logo on a building, photographed Aug. 31, 2020.

Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

East Lansing City Council passed a resolution honoring “Sister Survivors” of sexual abuse, calling on Michigan State to release the 6,000 documents pertaining to the administration's knowledge of Larry Nassar to the attorney general and the public Tuesday.

The resolution called for the immediate release of 6,000 documents by the MSU Board of Trustees. In February, Attorney General Dana Nessel sent a letter to the MSU Trustees asking them for the final time to release the documents. 

Council Member Lisa Babcock called it a “bittersweet honor” that Michigan State survivors have been among the first to step forward and “called for justice” and acknowledged the “silent survivors” who are just as important. 

If the Trustees don’t consent to release the documents, Nessel said the Attorney General’s office will have to close their investigation. The Trustees, who asked for the initial investigation into MSU and Larry Nassar, have withheld the documents for three years. 

Nessel's investigation into MSU led to the convictions of both ex-College of Osteopathic Medicine Dean William Strampel for misconduct of office and willful neglect of duty as well as ex-gymnastics coach Kathie Klages for lying to police. Both convictions stem from their knowledge about Nassar's decades of sexual abuse.

The attorney general's office is also appealing ex-MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon's dismissed charges of lying to police.

The investigation has remained at an impasse for more than a year because of Nessel's inability to acquire the documents held under attorney-client privilege.

Trustee Renee Knake said in December that she reviewed the documents, but didn't find any new information.

“We have an opportunity at Michigan State to lead the way for many other universities, including the University of Michigan, and I welcome the inclusion,” Babcock said

Babcock said she would let the resolution speak for the council as a whole.

“Speaking as an individual, I would go further and personally, as an alum, as a one-time — probably never again — adjunct at Michigan State, as a volunteer, as a donor, as a member of this community, ask you from the bottom of my heart to release those 6,000 documents," she said.

University Spokesperson Emily Guerrant said via email that the university does not have a comment on the resolution itself and is aware of the Attorney General's request. She said the Board of Trustees is discussing the issue.

Agenda Item Report - PDF by The State News on Scribd

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