Michigan House calls on MSU President Lou Anna Simon to step down
LANSING (WJBK) - Michigan State House of Representatives adopted a resolution calling on Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon to resign Wednesday.
The Michigan House voted overwhelmingly 96-11 for the embattled Simon to step down.
FOX 2's Tim Skubick reports the symbolic resolution does not carry the weight of a law but it reflects a strong bi-partisan sentiment in the house that it's time for Dr. Lou Anna Simon to step down.
Simon has faced a firestorm of criticism over her handling of the Larry Nassar case. Nassar, 54 is the disgraced former gymnastics doctor for MSU and Team USA national team.
In the resolution it says, "MSU missed many opportunities to stop Dr. Nassar and protect students, including a 2014 Title IX investigation that President Simon was alerted to, but during which declined to suspend Dr. Nassar, which allowed him to continue assaulting young girls, women, and students for two more years."
After over 100 victim impact statements and seven days in court, Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison earlier Wednesday.
Simon has contended that she was lied to by Nassar, like so many others at the school were over the years.
Earlier Wednesday the House GOP Speaker Tom Leonard told Skubick that the entire board of trustees should also resign in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse problem on campus.
Nassar pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct in Ingham County, Mich. In November 2017, he accepted a plea deal that dictated the low end of his sentence would range from 25-40 years, and the high end being life in prison. It also required that he listen to all those wishing to give victim impact statements.
Separately, Nassar has already been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography crimes, and is also scheduled to be sentenced next week on more assault convictions in Eaton County, Michigan.
House Resolution 234:
A resolution calling on Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon to resign immediately or for the Michigan State University Board of Trustees to remove her from the Office of President of Michigan State University immediately.
Whereas, Dr. Larry Nassar has admitted to sexually assaulting numerous young girls, women, and students over years in his position on the Michigan State University (MSU) medical staff and as a sports physician. Over 125 women have accused Dr. Nassar of sexual abuse dating back to 1992; and
Whereas, MSU missed many opportunities to stop Dr. Nassar and protect students, including a 2014 Title IX investigation that President Simon was alerted to, but during which declined to suspend Dr. Nassar, which allowed him to continue assaulting young girls, women, and students for two more years. Over the course of two decades, numerous MSU personnel were made aware of Dr. Nassar's sexual misconduct when victims appealed to them for help; and
Whereas, The lack of leadership and accountability among MSU's highest ranks allowed a predator to continue to abuse, and victims to suffer in silence, for far too long. As university president, Lou Anna K. Simon must ultimately take responsibility for her actions, or lack thereof, and the university culture that allowed this to happen. Michigan State University, one of our state's flagship public universities, and our state deserve better from its leaders; and
Whereas, We owe it to every survivor of Dr. Nassar's abuse and all members of the community to ensure that changes are made at the university to prevent this from ever happening again. The community and state must recover from this national embarrassment and move forward to create a culture where all victims are heard and action is taken against abusers; and
Whereas, We have lost confidence in the ability of President Lou Anna K. Simon to lead a transparent investigation, to implement changes that will ensure it never happens again, to protect students, and to lead Michigan State University forward; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we call on Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon to resign immediately or for the Michigan State University Board of Trustees to remove her from the Office of President of Michigan State University; and be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Michigan State University President and the Michigan State University Board of Trustees.