Sen. Bizon faces assault charge after alleged inappropriate touching of health care worker

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

State Sen. John Bizon faces a misdemeanor assault charge in Barry County related to an August incident in Marshall.

The charge against the Battle Creek Republican, first reported by the Lansing State Journal, relates to allegations that he inappropriately touched a health care worker at Oaklawn After Hours Express during an Aug. 14 appointment.

Martin Crandall, an attorney for Bizon, declined comment. 

Bizon tested positive for COVID-19 around the same day of his visit, according to the police report. It's not clear whether he was at the clinic for COVID-19 or for some other ailment due to redactions in the police report.

Sen. John Bizon, R-Battle Creek

A 52-year-old nurse practitioner told police Bizon at the Aug. 14 appointment placed his hand on her waist, pulled her toward him and squeezed her hip in an exam room while they were discussing medications, according to a police report. The nurse practitioner said Bizon was wearing a State of Michigan facemask when she initially saw him outside the office.

When police asked the nurse if she told the lawmaker "no" or "stop," she said "she was shocked and didn't say anything at that time," according to the report.  

She said Bizon also argued with her over the medication she recommended and her refusal to prescribe another. She told police he appeared "disappointed" and "visibly angry" when she refused to prescribe a different medication. 

A medical assistant also told police that Bizon grabbed her arm as she was taking his vitals and said his "blood pressure is up because she was in the room," according to the report. The assistant said she didn't take offense because "older men like to flirt with younger women."

Bizon told the office's staff that he was a senator and that Oaklawn President Gregg Beeg had sent him to the clinic for care, a medical secretary said, according to the report. 

When police asked him to come in for an interview Aug. 18, Bizon said he'd tested positive for COVID-19 and had started his quarantine Aug. 14. He later obtained an attorney and provided a statement that was not included in the police report.

Bizon's case, first filed Oct. 25 in Calhoun County, was assigned to a special prosecutor in the Barry County prosecutor's office earlier this month, according to court records. He is scheduled for arraignment Jan. 19. 

Bizon, an ear, nose and throat doctor, is a past president of the Michigan State Medical Society and the Calhoun County Medical Society.

In the Senate, he chairs the Families, Seniors and Veterans Committee and serves on the Oversight, Health Policy and Human Services and Energy and Technology committees.

He was elected to the Senate in 2018 after serving four years in the Michigan House.