EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University's legal bills just got higher. The school is now paying to defend former president Lou Anna K Simon.
That raises the school's legal expenses related to the Larry Nassar scandal to close to $20 million. That doesn't including the $500 million settlement with the survivors.
Michigan State is paying those fees because it's university policy to support trustees, officers, faculty, and staff who were acting in good faith with the university. That's outlined in their university's indemnification policy [trustees.msu.edu] , and it happens to be the first line of the policy.
MSU is paying those legal fees in full or part for three former and current employees.
Simon, and former MSU gymnastics coach Kathie Klages, will get their legal fees paid for.
The university said William Strampel, former Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, will get his lawyers for his civil lawsuits paid for. MSU will also pay 50 percent of his criminal defense. Their explanation is the other 50 percent do not relate to his role or position at the university.
Simon and Klages are charged with lying to police about when they knew about the Nassar scandal. Strampel is accused of misconduct in office and criminal sexual misconduct.
FOX 47 News asked an MSU spokeswoman if the university feels all three acted in good faith. She said she had to consult with legal counsel before answering.
FOX 47 News also asked why MSU didn't pay Lay Nassar's legal bills, a spokeswoman told me he never asked.
No response yet to whether or not the bills would have been covered if he'd asked.
Lou Anna Simon is headed to court on Jan. 31 for a preliminary exam in Eaton County. There a judge will decide if there is enough evidence to send her to trial.
Klages will be back in court in early February to talk about a trial date.
Strampel's trial date is still up in the air.