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Ex-Michigan governor to resign university post in Nassar fallout: media

(Reuters) – Michigan State University’s interim president John Engler will resign following renewed criticism of how he handled fallout over the sex abuse scandal involving sports doctor Larry Nassar, the Detroit Free Press reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed officials.

FILE PHOTO: John Engler, Interim President of Michigan State University, testifies before a Commerce Subcommittee hearing entitled “Strengthening and Empowering U.S. Amateur Athletes: Moving Forward with Solutions” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 24, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein/File Photo

Nassar, who was a team doctor for USA Gymnastics, was sentenced to up to 300 years in prison in two different trials last winter after more than 350 women testified about abuse at his hands. He also worked at Michigan State University.

The university’s board of trustees had been expected to discuss whether to fire Engler, a three-time former governor of Michigan, at a meeting on Thursday, the Detroit News reported.

The board’s president, Dianne Byrum, called Thursday’s meeting after Engler told the Detroit News on Friday that some of Nassar’s victims were “enjoying” being in the spotlight.

Engler said Nassar’s victims “who’ve been in the spotlight … are still enjoying that moment at times, you know, the awards and recognition,” The News reported.

Engler, who served as governor of Michigan from 1991 to 2003, became interim president last January when the former president resigned over the Nassar scandal. He oversaw the school’s $500 million settlement with more than 330 of Nassar’s victims in May.

Engler did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

In April, he came under fire when one of Nassar’s victims said he offered her $250,000 to settle a civil lawsuit against the school, the News reported.

Several board members have spoken out against Engler over his treatment of Nassar’s victims.

Michigan State’s Board of Trustees president Dianne Byrum tweeted on Friday after the Detroit News published Engler’s interview, “John Engler does not speak for the Board and does not have a vote.”

“JOHN ENGLER’S REIGN OF TERROR IS OVER,” MSU board member Brian Mosallam tweeted on Wednesday.

Byrum and Mosallam did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Reporting by Gabriella Borter; Editing by Susan Thomas and Tom Brown


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