The State – 04/27/23

Rachel Fulton

Today’s weather forecast is predicting generally sunny skies despite a few afternoon clouds with a high of 61 degrees and a low of 44 degrees.

Students protest Board of Trustees’ refusal to release Nassar documents

A group of students gathered to protest the Board of Trustees’ refusal to release thousands of documents detailing the university’s handling of disgraced ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse cases.

By making this decision, the board chose not to comply with State Attorney General Dana Nessel’s request for the documents to be released. The controversial choice attracted criticism and confusion from members of the MSU community and survivor organizations.

One student, communications junior Charlotte Plotzke, said she planned the April 25 protest outside of the Hannah Administration Building because she did not believe the board’s decision was acceptable. She said by refusing to release the documents, the board was denying justice to the survivors.

During the protest, Plotzke held a sign that read “my tuition is not your hush money” and led students in chanting “silence is violence.” She used a megaphone to address people inside the building and passersby.

Plotzke said the board’s decision was possibly an attempt to cover up third-party actions. She said the university is “still cowering in fear” and concerned more about money than survivors.

She also said she would not stop fighting the decision until the board holds itself to the same standards that students are held to and justice is served.

East Lansing City Council, including Mayor Ron Bacon, accused of unethical behavior in anonymous complaint

The East Lansing City Council is facing an anonymous complaint citing unethical behavior and breach of the city charter.

In a letter received by interim human resources Director Emily Kenney and interim city clerk Marie Wicks, an “Anonymous Public Servant” claimed Mayor Ron Bacon, Mayor Pro Tem Jessey Gregg and Councilmember Dana Watson are at fault for recent resignations from city officials.

In a statement made Monday by the East Lansing City Council, including all members of the executive board, the city will be opening an investigation relative to the complaints.

The anonymous letter writer said the departure of former and long-time City Manager George Lahanas was “politically motivated,” alongside questioning new budgeting processes through official’s salaries.

Additionally, the complainant mentioned connections between the city’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director Elaine Hardy and members of the Council as cause for unethical behavior and breach of the city charter, alongside additional accusations surrounding internal operations made by the writer.

The writer concluded by asking for an investigation into their complaints against the East Lansing City Council and mentioned officials detailed throughout the letter, calling for “an independent/neutral third party” to take the case.

The Councilmembers, in the statement, said they will be hiring a third-party investigator and that after 90 days, inquiring about the status of the investigation.

Woodruff, MSU leaders move together to dismiss Gupta lawsuit

Seven of Michigan State University’s top administrators — including interim president Teresa Woodruff — agreed to file a single motion to dismiss controversial former business school dean Sanjay Gupta’s lawsuit, which alleges they defamed him in a presidential succession plot.

They will have to file their response by May 22, according to the agreement.

The lawsuit alleges that Woodruff’s decision to remove Gupta from his dean position for a mandatory reporting failure was part of a “power scheme to ensure that Gupta would not be named successor to outgoing former President Samuel Stanley, Jr., and to enhance Woodruff’s personal ambition to become President.”

Woodruff and her alleged co-conspirators are yet to publicly respond to the accusation; she declined to answer questions about it at a recent press availability.

At the board’s April meeting, the first one since the report’s release, faculty and alumni within the business college spoke in support of Gupta, while elected representatives for students and faculty heavily criticized him and the report itself.

Based on original reporting by Amalia Medina, Kelsey Dantuma and Alex Walters.