Schuette targets medical license of Nassar’s ex-boss

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette on Wednesday announced a complaint alleging license violations, including negligence and incompetence, has been filed against Larry Nassar’s former boss.

William Strampel, the ex-dean of the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, is targeted in an administrative complaint filed on behalf of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs that contends he aided in Nassar’s violation of the Public Health Code.

“The alleged license violations are serious and must be treated as such,” Schuette said in a statement. “I encourage a thorough and complete review of all evidence by the Board of Osteopathic Medicine as they determine the future of Strampel’s medical license.”

Nassar, a former sports doctor for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of sexual assault and child pornography charges. He is accused of sexually abusing more than 250 women over more than two decades under the guise of performing medical treatment.

The newly filed complaint alleges that Strampel, a DeWitt resident, violated the Public Health Code while serving as dean of the osteopathic medicine college.

Separately, officials in March announced criminal charges against Strampel on claims he used his position to harass, discriminate, proposition, sexually assault and solicit pornographic videos of female students.

Strampel is charged with felony misconduct in office, a misdemeanor charge of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree and two misdemeanor charges of willful neglect of duty.

An attorney for Strampel could not be immediately reached Wednesday for comment, but previously has denied allegations against him.

The violations outlined in Wednesday’s complaint, officials say, stem from Strampel’s actions toward female students and failure to appropriately supervise Nassar and report his violations.

Specifically, the complaint alleges Strampel made “inappropriate sexual-in-nature comments to female students,” according to Schuette’s office, and his computer contained about 50 photos of nude, or partially nude women, sex toys and pornography.

Many photos, officials said, appeared to be of female MSU students and taken by the women in the photos.

The complaint accuses Strampel of making sexual comments to an unnamed female student during a June 2017 meeting over her score on a recent exam. During the meeting, he allegedly talked about “sending and receiving nude photos” and “the benefits to a 26-year-old woman in having sex with an older man.”

In several encounters with a separate female student between 2011 and 2014, Strampel allegedly made repeated derogatory comments about her appearance, including “suggesting that she start dressing sexier if she wanted to make it in the medical field.” On another occasion, he “grabbed her buttocks,” the complaint alleges.

The complaint also list a variety of sexually inappropriate comments and actions allegedly involving Strampel and five other women between 2005 and 2014.

The attorney general’s complaint contends Strampel failed to enforce protocols intended to protect female patients following allegations against Nassar at the MSU Sports Medicine Clinic.

“The role of LARA and all licensed professionals is to help protect the public,” said Shelly Edgerton, who heads the state’s regulatory affairs department. “When licensees violate this trust, the department and professional boards are charged with taking action.”

Once an administrative complaint is issued, the licensee must file a response within 30 days, officials said.

At that time, the licensee can either seek a compliance conference, or request a hearing with the Michigan Administrative Hearing System. Failing to respond within 30 days is considered an admission of the alleged conduct and results in the complaint being forwarded to the disciplinary subcommittee of the Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery.

The board may then impose a fine, license suspension or revocation or place the licensee on probation with terms.

The administrative complaint, officials noted, is strictly an action on Strampel’s medical license in Michigan.