A one-year criminal investigation involving the former Michigan State University chairman for his role in Larry Nassar's sexual abuse scandal, as well as a dean and former gym trainer, was suspended by the state attorney general.
A spokeswoman for Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel confirmed to the Associated Press on Tuesday that the office inquiry, which began in 2016 with Nessel's predecessor Bill Schuette, was no longer active.
The spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday, but told The A.P. that investigators were seeking 6,000 university documents covered by the lawyer-client privilege. She said the attorney general's office also wanted to interview former interim university president John M. Engler, who was not charged.
It was not clear whether the investigation would resume or if there was a formal request for the documents.
Michigan State spokeswoman Emily Guerrant said in a statement on Tuesday that East Lansing University had carried out numerous investigations.
“M.S.U. fully cooperated with the investigation, including the delivery of all facts associated with the case, ”the statement said. "In addition to the attorney general's investigation, M.S.U. has also been investigated and reviewed by more than a dozen other entities and government units. In all cases, we cooperate with any and all inquiries."
Guerrant said in an e-mail that the university would retain its attorney-client privilege regarding the documents, which she noted were reviewed by a third-party judge to determine facts relevant to the Nassar case that were handed over to the lawyer. general.
"What is left in these documents is the advice of lawyers," Guerrant said. "As for former interim president John Engler, the university supports the AG's request to interview him and has sent letters asking for his cooperation in the matter."
The state of Michigan's handling of sexual abuse complaints against Nassar, a longtime doctor on the Spartan and US gymnastics team, has drawn the attention of the state attorney general's office as well as federal authorities.
Nassar, 56, is serving several life sentences for sexually abusing various women on the grounds that he was administering medical treatment to them. The scandal shook the Olympic movement and the state of Michigan, costing the state's largest university hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and fines.
As a result of the attorney general's investigation, three former university officials were charged with what prosecutors say was their role in the scandal, including Lou Anna K. Simon, the school's former president. She is awaiting trial on charges of lying to the police about her knowledge of Mr. Nassar's abuses.
In August, a Michigan judge sentenced William D. Strampel, a former dean of the Michigan State School of Osteopathic Medicine and a former head of Nassar, to one year in prison for misconduct and voluntary negligence in the scandal.
The investigators also charged Kathie Klages, a former Michigan gym trainer, for lying to the investigators.
The university spokeswoman's statement said the state of Michigan "invested significant time, finances and human resources to improve the safety, culture and procedures that needed our attention."
"We continue to make improvements and increase our education and prevention efforts to ensure that this never happens again," the statement said. "Our heart is with the survivors and their families as they continue their healing as well."