Trustees call for Michigan State interim president John Engler to step down
After a disparaging e-mail sent by Michigan State University interim president John Engler in April was revealed earlier this week, two Michigan State trustees have called for the former Michigan governor to step down.
Engler, who replaced former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon when she resigned in January in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal, claimed in this e-mail that one of the women who was sexually assaulted by Nassar was likely receiving a "kickback" from her attorney.
That woman, Rachael Denhollander, was the first person to publicly accuse Nassar, the 54-year-old disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State physician who has been accused of sexually assaulting more than 300 people, many of whom female gymnasts, under the guise of medical treatment for more than 20 years, of sexual assault.
Denhollander did so shortly before The Indianapolis Star published her story in September of 2016. Three months later, Nassar was finally arrested.
Nassar has since been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison, between 40 and 175 years in state prison and between and additional 40 and 125 years in state prison on three child pornography charges, seven sexual assault charges and three more sexual assault charges, respectively.
His 60-year federal prison sentence, which he is currently serving at United States Penitentiary, Tucson in Tucson, Arizona, was given to him this past December. His two prison state prison sentences were given to him in January and February, respectively.
Here is what Engler's e-mail, which he sent to Carol M. Viventi, the vice president and special counsel to the president, said, according to Deadspin.
“It is deeply appreciated. At least we know what really happened. The survivors now are being manipulated by trial lawyers who in the end will each get millions of dollars more than any of (sic) individual survivors with the exception of Denhollander who is likely to get (sic) kickback from Manley (sic) for her role in the trial lawyer manipulation.
“It is too bad we can’t have a debate about who is really trying to help those who were harmed by Nassar. At least, all of the positive changes are beginning to get some modest attention. It will be years before the use and abuse by trial lawyers point is understood. Have a good Sunday. See you Tuesday morning. John.”
Here is what trustee Brian Mosallam had to say regarding the fact that Engler insinuated that Denhollander was receiving a "kickback" from her attorney, John Manly, according to ABC News.
"He needs to resign immediately. He lacks empathy. He lacks the tone needed to be university president. His comments regarding Rachel Denhollander are unconscionable. He is not fit to lead Michigan State."
Here is what trustee Dianne Byrum had to say about the matter, according to ABC News.
"He's the wrong leader for Michigan State University. He needs to step down and resign."
Will Engler end up resigning? That remains to be seen at this point.