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House speaker says MSU president needs to go

Former MSU President Lou Anna Simon
Image courtesy of MSU
File photo / MSU

State House Speaker Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt, says it’s time for Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon to step down.

It's part of the growing chorus of criticism of how MSU has handled a sex assault scandal.

Leonard says MSU has not been forthcoming about who knew what and when as far as suspicions that a university sports doctor was sexually abusing athletes.

“Best case scenario, they have shown they are grossly negligent. In worst-case scenario, something is being covered up,” Leonard said.

Doctor Larry Nassar has pleaded guilty to multiple counts of young women and girls. Lawsuits filed by families of victims could cost the university hundreds of millions of dollars.

Leonard says the Legislature may have to exercise its budget authority to force MSU officials to reveal what they know about what went wrong.

“Dozens of these women have claimed the university is not being responsive to them. They can’t get answers," he said. "I haven’t even seen where they’ve gotten an apology.”

The MSU Board of Trustees has released a statement last week expressing confidence in Simon.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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