CORRECTION: A previous version of this story said that Gretchen Whitmer called for Simon’s resignation. That is incorrect. Whitmer called for an investigation into the situation.
LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Michigan House Speaker, Tom Leonard R-DeWitt, is calling on Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon to resign in response to the university’s handling of the Larry Nassar scandal.
He said he’s been following the case over the last several months.
In a Facebook post Sunday, he wrote:
“Michigan State University – A doctor employed by your university for nearly 20 years is accused of sexually assaulting dozens of young women. He was just sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for possessing over 30,000 images of child pornography and pleading guilty to 10 sexual misconduct crimes,” he said. “You conduct an investigation but don’t even have the confidence in your findings, or the decency, to release a report? That is outrageous and absolutely reprehensible.”
Leonard is running for Michigan Attorney General.
“When I found out on Friday that they conducted an investigation and didn’t even have the decency to produce a report, I found that absolutely reprehensible,” Speaker Leonard said. “They have shown an absolute disregard of the health and safety of these young women and it’s time for her to step aside,” he said.
Leonard said the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Justice Dept., the Attorney General, the Michigan State Police should conduct a criminal investigation.
And if MSU chooses not to investigate?
“The budget process will be coming up in the next couple of months and if none of those entities do an investigation, then we need to seriously have the conversation about whether or not we’re going to withhold funds until they’re forthright about what they knew and when they knew it,” Leonard said.
Last week, Gretchen Whitmer, one of the democratic candidates running for governor, also called for an investigation into the situation.
That same week, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette also asked MSU to release the findings of an internal report into the actions of the former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor.
An attorney hired by MSU to look into its conduct in the Larry Nassar scandal, said no one at the university knew about his conduct until the media reported allegations against him in late 2016.
“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,” Speaker Leonard wrote. “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.”
The MSU Board of Trustees showed its support for Simon after the Lansing State Journal published an editorial calling for her to resign.
“President Simon has proven her commitment to helping the university when it comes to the societal issue of sexual misconduct. She has the complete confidence of the Board of Trustees to lead the university in this and all endeavors,” the board wrote.
Larry Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison on Dec. 7th in the federal child pornography chase against him. After his sentencing, several of his victims spoke out, calling on MSU to release the internal report conducted
He’ll be sentenced in those cases in January.