LANSING (WWJ) – An MSU Board of Trustee is taking a one to three month leave from his job at the governor’s office.
WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick reports the leave is unpaid.
Brian Breslin, the chair of the MSU Board of Trustees, is taking the leave of absence so he can devote more time … to resolving the cultural problems on the campus in the wake of the Larry Nassar case says Skubick.
The move comes as the Governor mulls over possible intervention at MSU. He denies there is any connection to Breslin.
Breslin was Snyder’s appointment secretary and he’ll leave the post on a 60 day voluntary basis without pay.
The university is currently facing lawsuits from more than 130 victims.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette named Special Prosecutor Bill Forsyth to handle the investigation. Forsyth said he’s never seen anything of this scope in his 42 years of work as a prosecutor. He has several questions about the case, including why and how no one stopped “this predator” for almost 20 years. Forsyth said he’ll look at rules and regulations at Michigan State to see why they didn’t protect the victims — and if there are holes in the rules, he’ll make recommendations how to fix them.
In a recent filing, Michigan State asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuits on technical grounds. The school says it has immunity under state law and that the majority of victims were not MSU students at the time of the alleged assaults.
The board last month authorized the creation of a $10 million fund to offer victims counseling and mental health services.
A Title IX probe conducted by the university cleared Nassar of sexual assault allegations in 2014. He was advised by the school to avoid being alone with patients while treating their “sensitive areas,” but the school did not follow up on and enforce its request.
On Monday, Nassar was sentenced to 40-125 years in prison for sexually molesting hundreds of young girls. This in addition to his January sentencing of 40-175 years and federal prison sentence of 60 years after he was found guilty in December of possessing more than 37,000 images of child porn on electronic devices.
Additionally, former U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team coach John Geddert is facing a criminal investigation after complaints were filed following the sentencing of disgraced ex-sports doctor Larry Nassar, who molested girls at Geddert’s elite gymnastics club in Michigan.
The Eaton County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that people recently come forward with complaints against Geddert. The office declined to elaborate on the number of complaints or their nature, citing the ongoing investigation.
Geddert was suspended last month by USA Gymnastics until it completes its own investigation. Geddert, who coached the “Fierce Five” that won a team gold in 2012 in London, announced his retirement.
An astonishing 250-plus women and girls gave statements in two Michigan courtrooms over 10 days of proceedings. The focus will shift to lawsuits and multiple probes of Nassar’s actions and those of people around him when he worked for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body.
In a letter to independent special prosecutor William Forsyth released Tuesday, Michigan State University Interim President John Engler said Forsyth’s decision for investigators to visit without warning Friday was “very much at odds” with the school’s pledge to cooperate. Forsyth, a retired county prosecutor, was appointed to investigate Michigan State by Attorney General Bill Schuette.
© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.