LANSING (WWJ) – A political lob from the newly seated interim president of Michigan State University at the Michigan attorney general — and current candidate for governor Bill Schuette.
A statement released Wednesday by the Michigan Democratic Party called former Michigan Governor John Engler’s withdrawal of support for Schuette’s run for Michigan governor – doing “more for our state today than he ever did as governor.”
The fallout surrounding the handling of the Larry Nassar case grows – with MSU President Lou Anna Simon and athletic director Mark Hollis both resigning within hours of Nassar’s January sentencing for sexually assaulting seven young women and underage girls and a week of televised impact statements from over 150 victims.
Meanwhile, an investigation focused on MSU’s handling of the Nassar case is ongoing. Engler expressed disappointment after state authorities executed search warrants on campus as TV cameras were filming.
On Wednesday, an Engler spokesperson told Crain’s that, “Given that this new role is completely not political, he can’t be involved in any campaigns this cycle.”
“Given the ongoing investigations by the Michigan Legislature, the Congress, the NCAA, the U.S. Department of Education and the independent prosecutor into Michigan State’s failure to deal with Larry Nassar’s sexual assaults over a twenty-year period, the campaign has removed the name of the MSU president from all materials,” Schuette spokeswoman Bridget Bush said in an email to Crain’s.
The statement from the MDP calls Schuette’s investigation a “tangled web of conflict and insatiable appetite for the political spotlight have been on full display throughout his attempt to use the MSU-Nassar investigation to once again further his political ambitions.”
Nassar was a team doctor at MSU and at the Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, and at Twistars.
In December, Nassar, who had more than 37,000 images of child porn on electronic devices, was sentenced to 60 years in prison on three federal charges, the maximum penalty allowed.
Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina called Nassar “possibly the most prolific serial child sex abuser in history,” sentencing him in January to 40-175 years in prison for sexually assaulting female patients. Additionally, Nassar was sentenced in connection with sexual abuse of girls attending Twistars, a Lansing-area gymnastics club that was run by 2012 Olympic coach John Geddert, to another 40-125 years.
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