These 9 Michigan State employees could be questioned in Nassar inquiries

EAST LANSING, MICH. - Former Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar has been sentenced for sexually assaulting patients and others and MSU President Lou Anna Simon has resigned over the scandal, but state and federal lawmakers and the Michigan Attorney General's Office still have questions about how the university handled the case.  

Nassar, 54, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for multiple sexual assault charges In Ingham County, most of which involved his former patients. He'll be sentenced on similar charges in Eaton County during a hearing that begins next week. 

The Ingham County sentence — at the end of seven emotionally charged days of victim impact statements from more than 150 women, girls and parents — follows decades of allegations against Nassar to MSU officials. 

Why those allegations failed to stop Nassar is now the subject of inquiries by state lawmakers, Congress, and the NCAA. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has vowed to announce a review after the Eaton County sentencing hearing is complete. 

Two MSU employees tied to the Nassar case were allowed to leave the university. Kathie Klages, the MSU gymnastics coach, retired in February 2017, days after the State Journal reported that court filings accused Klages of discouraging athletes to report Nassar in the 1990s. The following month, MSU doctor Brooke Lemmen was allowed to resign after she reportedly withheld information about Nassar for more than a year and moved confidential files at Nassar's request after he'd been fired. 

In addition to those two, below are nine current MSU employees who could be of interest to investigators, either because they reportedly heard concerns about Nassar or oversee university programs impacted by Nassar's crimes.  

None of the individuals below have been formally accused of crimes but could still find themselves targets of inquiries because, as state Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., D-Meridian Township, said last week of Simon: "There's a difference between criminal liability and moral liability.”  

Schuette spokeswoman Andrea Bitely said they "don't speculate or comment" on pending investigations. MSU spokesman Jason Cody couldn't be reached for comment on this story Thursday. The university has said no one at MSU was aware of Nassar's crimes until 2016.  

The individuals in this list either refused to comment through spokespersons or attorneys or couldn't be reached for comment on Thursday. 

Lianna Hadden 

Hadden has been an MSU athletic trainer for 16 years, most recently working with the wrestling, swimming and diving teams. 

At least two of Nassar's accusers have said they raised concerns about the doctor to Hadden in the early 2000s, including a former MSU volleyball player and former MSU softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez. 

Jeffery Kovan 

In 2014, MSU graduate Amanda Thomashow shared concerns about Nassar with Kovan, who worked with Nassar in the university's sports medicine program. He followed university procedure and turned the information over to the MSU office that investigates such complaints.  

The subsequent Title IX investigation ultimately found Nassar did not violate university policies. Kovan remains an MSU physician and is the team doctor for the university's basketball, soccer, track and softball programs.  

Lisa DeStefano 

In that 2014 investigation, Nassar argued his accuser was misinterpreting a legitimate medical procedure, so university investigators turned to four medical experts who all had close ties to Nassar and backed him up to investigators.  

Lemmen, the now-resigned MSU physician, was one of those experts. DeStefano was another. 

She remains the chairwoman of MSU's Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Department. She's known Nassar since 1988. 

Jennifer Gilmore

Gilmore was also interviewed in that 2014 inquiry. She's known Nassar since 1995. He was her attending physician when she was a sports medicine fellow at MSU. 

Gilmore remains a physician in the Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine where Nassar worked. 

Destiny Teachnor-Hauk 

The fourth person interviewed in 2014 was Teachnor-Hauk, an athletic trainer who's known Nassar for 18 years and took over Nassar's responsibilities for the MSU's women's gymnastics and rowing teams after he was fired in 2016. 

She was also among eight people interviewed by MSU police and the FBI in a brief investigation early last year into what university employees knew of Nassar's crimes. She told those investigators that if athletes said Nassar was in their private area, she'd use a model of the pelvis to explain to athletes what Nassar was doing. 

Thomas Lopez, the former MSU softball player, has said she told Teachnor-Hauk that she had concerns about Nassar in the early 2000s. 

William Strampel 

Though Nassar was cleared in that 2014 investigation, he agreed to implement a number of new protocols when he treated patients, including wearing gloves and providing a clear explanation to patients about what he was doing.  

William Strampel, then dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, was Nassar's boss. But he never followed up to ensure Nassar followed those protocols. In September 2016, after an Indianapolis Star report put Nassar in the national spotlight with new abuse allegations, the university cited failure to follow those protocols as one of the reasons for firing him.

In December, Strampel stepped down as dean, citing medical reasons; he remains on the MSU faculty. 

Kristine Moore 

Moore was the lead investigator on the 2014 internal inquiry and the one who eventually determined that, while some of Nassar's actions were troubling, they were medically appropriate. 

Moore is assistant general counsel at the university, practicing "primarily in the areas of Clery and Violence Against Women Act compliance, disability law, Fair Labor Standards Act and other employment law issues," according to the university's website. 

Mark Hollis, Shelly Appelbaum 

As of now, there's no indication that concerns about Nassar made it all the way to the university's athletic administration, but many of Nassar's victims were MSU athletes and investigators are sure to ask about how the department handles its athletes' concerns.  

Hollis has been MSU athletic director since 2008. Appelbaum has been an associate director for women's sports since 1999.  

Hollis was interviewed during the short FBI investigation last year and said he didn't know whether he'd ever met Nassar in person. 

Investigators may also want to hear from Hollis' two living predecessors who were AD while Nassar treated athletes: Merritt Norvell, who left the university in 1999, and Clarence Underwood, who was AD from 1999 to 2002. 

One other former MSU employee who has come under scrutiny is Kelli Bert, a short-lived track-and-field coach in the late 1990s who reportedly heard a complaint from a runner in 1999. 

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