Inquiry Into Michigan State’s Handling of Larry Nassar Case Is Suspended

A yearslong criminal investigation that ensnared Michigan State University’s former president over her role in the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal, as well as a onetime dean and an ex-gymnastics coach, has been suspended by the state attorney general.

A spokeswoman for Michigan’s attorney general, Dana Nessel, confirmed to The Associated Press on Tuesday that the office’s inquiry, which began in 2016 under Ms. Nessel’s predecessor, Bill Schuette, was no longer active.

The spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday, but told The A.P. that investigators were seeking 6,000 documents from the university covered under attorney-client privilege. She said that the attorney general’s office also wanted to interview the university’s former interim president, John M. Engler, who has not been charged.

It was not clear if the investigation would resume or if there had been a formal request for the documents.

A Michigan State spokeswoman, Emily Guerrant, said in a statement Tuesday that the East Lansing university had complied with numerous investigations.

“M.S.U. has cooperated fully with the inquiry, including handing over all facts associated with the case,” the statement said. “In addition to the attorney general’s investigation, M.S.U. has also been investigated and reviewed by more than a dozen other entities and units of government. In all cases, we have cooperated with each and every inquiry.”

Ms. Guerrant said in an email that the university would maintain its attorney-client privilege with respect to the documents, which she noted were reviewed by a third-party judge to determine relevant facts to the Nassar case that were then turned over to the attorney general.

“What remains in those documents is attorney’s counsel and advice,” Ms. Guerrant said. “As for former interim president John Engler, -the university supports the A.G.’s request to interview him and has sent him letters asking for his cooperation in the matter.”

Michigan State’s handling of sexual abuse complaints against Mr. Nassar, the longtime team doctor for the Spartans’ gymnastics team and for U.S.A. Gymnastics, drew scrutiny from the state attorney general’s office, as well as federal authorities.

Mr. Nassar, 56, is serving several life sentences in prison for sexually abusing scores of women under the guise that he was administering medical treatment to them. The scandal rocked the Olympic movement and Michigan State, costing the state’s largest university hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and fines.

As a result of the attorney general’s investigation, three prominent former university employees have been charged for what prosecutors say was their role in the scandal, including Lou Anna K. Simon, the school’s onetime president. She is awaiting trial on charges that she lied to the police about her knowledge of the abuse committed by Mr. Nassar.

In August, a Michigan judge sentenced William D. Strampel, the former dean of Michigan State’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and Mr. Nassar’s former boss, to a year in prison for misconduct in office and willful neglect in the scandal.

Investigators also charged Kathie Klages, a former Michigan State gymnastics coach, with lying to investigators.

The university spokeswoman’s statement said that Michigan State “has invested significant time, finances and staffing resources to improving the safety, culture and procedures that needed our attention.”

“We continue making improvements and increasing our education and prevention efforts to make sure this can never happen again,” the statement said. “Our hearts are with the survivors and their families as they continue their healing as well.”