Will Lansing force out MSU president?
House GOP Speaker Tom Leonard opened a real holiday can of worms with his out of the blue call for the president of Michigan State University to resign in the wake of the Dr. Larry Nassar sexual assault case that has engulfed the East Lansing campus.
He’s basically seen enough and steadfastly concludes that MSU President Dr. Lou Anna Simon “botched” this whole matter from top to bottom leaving much to be desired on the transparency scale. This despite the fact the MSU Board of Trustees in a Dec. 3 statement expressed full confidence in her performance on this story which refuses to go away.
Mr. Leonard, who is running for the GOP attorney general nomination, drew immediate fire from his opponent West Michigan Republican Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker. She is playing the due process card or the lack of same in the case of Mr. Leonard.
“It’s important to have all the evidence before you condemn somebody and make them lose their position, so I think it’s prudent to make sure one has all the evidence before calling for a resignation.”
It’s not a stretch to see this become an issue in the Leonard vs. Schuitmaker struggle for the nomination. She can say, “My opponent wants to be the top law enforcement official in the state yet he denied one of our basic American rights to due process to someone who deserves it.”
He could run his own commercial, “I was leading the charge to get rid of the MSU president in order to protect young women on the campus, and my opponent sat on the sidelines.”
Gov. Rick Snyder checks in with, “You always hope for due process.” He thinks the matter is clearly in the MSU board’s court. And Lt. Gov. Brian Calley echoes his boss, “I think everybody should be entitled to due process,” he notes without casting judgment on what the Speaker contends.
The reality is there is no evidence that Dr. Simon knew about this sorry situation involving more than 100 young women who contend they were abused by Dr. Nassar and the president did nothing. There are those who contend the optics do not look good, but can you convict someone on optics?
In fact the university hired an outside law firm that did a review and declared that nobody up the university food chain was negligent.
But the review itself has entered the controversy because when Attorney General Bill Schuette asked for a copy of the report, he was told, there was no written report.
Eyebrows were lifted all over town.
Sen. Margaret O’Brien (R-West Michigan) was first among those.
“When they are saying there is no report, I can’t believe that taxpayer dollars were being spend on an investigation of which there was no report and if that is their stance, than yes, (she should) resign.”
Outside council Patrick Fitzgerald has offered to do a verbal report on his findings for the A.G. but it doesn’t look like that will appease the non-believers.
So as we move deeper into this joyous holiday season, a not so joyous cloud hangs over the university which is facing multiple legal suits from the aggrieved victims with the jury still out on who knew what and when.