House Speaker calls on MSU president Lou Anna Simon to resign

Politicians are asking for the MSU President to resign in the wake of Larry Nassar's sentencing.

EAST LANSING, MICH. - State House Speaker Tom Leonard has joined the growing number of people calling for MSU President Lou Anna Simon to resign because of the university's handling of sexual assault reports against Larry Nassar. 

"In light of your failing, it is time for the U.S. Department of Justice, the F.B.I., the Michigan State Police, and the Attorney General to put witnesses under oath, find out who knew what and when, and get to the bottom of what happened," the DeWitt Township Republican wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday.

"At best, you have clearly proven yourself grossly incompetent. At worst, you are covering something up and shielding bad actors from the justice these victims deserve. It is well past time for all of us to find out the truth."

Gideon D'Assandro, a spokesman for Leonard, said on Monday that Leonard has also called for Simon to resign. 

An MSU spokesman did not immediately return a message left seeking comment.

Nassar, 54, of Holt, was sentenced last week to 60 years in federal prison for three child pornography charges, which he pleaded guilty to in July.

Last month, Nassar pleaded guilty to 10 first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges split between Ingham and Eaton counties. He faces at decades in prison and will be sentenced in January. 

Nassar worked for MSU for decades. Between 1997 and 2015 at least seven women or girls say they raised concerns about his actions to coaches, trainers, police or university officials. He was investigated twice by police but never charged.

In 2014, the university cleared him of sexual assault allegations after a Title IX investigation. Ingham County prosecutors declined to issue charges after an MSU police investigation. 

Calls for an independent investigation about who at MSU knew what and when have been ongoing for nearly a year. In February, more than 100 university faculty members called for an outside investigation of Nassar. The university has been paying attorneys, some charging $990 an hour, to represent it in the civil lawsuits related to Nassar or handle internal reviews.

Those calls were renewed as Nassar began to plead guilty in state courts and have now been joined by calls for Simon to resign. 

Last month, an MSU spokesman said the FBI, in conjunction with MSU's own police department, conducted a joint investigation this year focused on "whether any university employee other than Nassar engaged in criminal conduct." He added that the results of that investigation were sent to the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, and "We have no reason to believe that any criminal conduct was found."

Leonard has been state House Speaker for one year and is running for Michigan Attorney General. 

Senator Tonya Schuitmaker a Republican from Allegan is calling for an investigation into what MSU knew about Nassar and when. She also has a different stance on Simon's resignation.

"It's important to have all the evidence before you condemn somebody and make them lose their position," said Schuitmaker. "So I think it's prudent to make sure one has all the evidence before calling for a resignation."

Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WZZM 13 app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@wzzm13.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.

© 2017 Lansing State Journal


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment