Michigan State University trustees heard criticism today from sexual assault survivors and their families over MSU’s decision not to hand over 6,000 documents related to the Larry Nassar case to the Attorney General’s office.
Attorney General Dana Nessel had sought a response from the board by March 26th, saying without the documents, her office would have to close their Nassar investigation. That deadline came and went with the university again declining to do so, claiming attorney-client privilege.
MSU Women’s Council vice president Alexis Hampton says she’s “fed up” with how the board responds to anything related to sexual assault. “How can you possibly claim to care about abuse," Hampton asked, "when you aren’t even willing to turn over important evidence to the Attorney General?”
Trustee Dan Kelly is an attorney. He says privilege is important to the process of getting sound legal advice, adding that it breaks his heart that survivors don’t see it that way. “I wish we could do something different," Kelly says, "but I do stand by my decision, anyway, to not wave the attorney-client privilege, and I just hope that we can respectfully disagree on this issue and move forward.”
Kelly says he doesn’t think the documents were withheld because they contain secrets.
The board also heard continuing criticism for the decision to eliminate the MSU varsity swimming and diving program.