Michigan State University is authorizing what it says will be an independent investigation of the school’s handling of sexual assault complaints against now-imprisoned former sports doctor Larry Nassar. The board of trustees unanimously approved the probe Friday. It intends to hire Chicago-based law firm McDermott Will & Emery to investigate and release a public report.
The university has come under criticism for hiring a law firm to conduct an “independent” investigation while the same law firm also defended the school in civil lawsuits. No report has been made public. The Michigan attorney general office’s has been investigating the university and has charged three officials, including a former president. Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a statement Friday morning saying MSU “lacks the credibility to conduct a legitimate investigation.”
That was met with a rebuke on Twitter from Rachael DenHollander, the first woman to go public with accusations against Nassar. Now an attorney in Kentucky, DenHollander wrote while she appreciates Nessel “very much,” the attorney general “was not involved in this process and does not know what has been negotiated. No one is backing off the push to waive privilege, but we need this. I have worked directly with the board, and I support this step.” Trustees say they worked with Nassar victims in recent months to launch the new investigation “to restore trust in this university.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.