‘You will have shut the door on the pursuit of justice’ -- MSU, AG reach stalemate in Nassar investigation

3-year investigation may end unless 6,000 documents are turned over to Attorney General’s Office

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said the investigation into Michigan State University involvement with Larry Nassar is going nowhere.

According to the Attorney General’s office, the investigation remains inconclusive and nearly 6,000 school documents have not been released to investigators. Nessel said the Board of Trustees refuse to release the documents, citing attorney-client privilege.

Nessel sent a letter to the MSU Board of Trustees Wednesday and requested access to the 6,000 documents.

“You will have shut the door on the pursuit of justice,” Nessel said in the letter. “I cannot think of a worse conclusion to the investigation -- which this Board asked for -- than that.”

The Attorney General’s office has no legal options available to it that would allow for review of the material without the MSU Board of Trustee’s consent.

“MSU’s refusal to comply with my request leaves me with no choice but to close this investigation in a manner that provides no real closure or justice to the people who deserve it,” Nessel tweeted Friday. “I again urge the Board of Trustees to seriously consider my request.”

Nessel said if MSU doesn’t release the documents, the investigation that began three years ago under former Attorney General Bill Schuette will come to an end.

In 2019, Nessel said that “the depth and breadth the university has gone to in withholding those documents only increases our fervor to obtain them.”

In addition to Nassar, the investigation into MSU resulted in the filing of charges against MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, Dean William Strampel and Kathie Klages.

Strampel was convicted of willful neglect of duty having to do with his supervision of Nassar and misconduct in office over how he attempted to manipulate multiple female students in his role as dean. He was sentence to one year in jail and has since been released.

Klages was convicted of lying to a police officer in the Nassar investigation and sentenced to 90 days jail. She has filed an appeal, which is currently pending in the Court of Appeals.

The charges against Simon were dismissed but the Attorney General’s office has filed an appeal and the case is awaiting oral argument.

The charges against Simon centered on a 2018 interview with investigators who said they wanted to know what officials at the East Lansing school knew about Nassar.

The Michigan Sexual Assault Hotline offers anonymous assistance and support without judgement. It can be reached at 855-864-2374.

About the Author:

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.