MSU ousts top lawyer, but he’ll still be paid

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WOOD/AP) — Michigan State University Interim President Satish Udpa has removed the university’s top lawyer, who was appointed by former MSU Interim President John Engler

MSU announced Friday that Robert Young “has been relieved of his duties” as university vice president and general counsel.

Young had more than two years remaining on a three-year contract worth $425,000 a year. MSU spokeswoman Emily Guerrant says Young will be paid the full amount.

“We appreciate that Bob stepped in last year to help the university with the settlement and many legal issues facing MSU. It was a time of transition in the general counsel’s office,” Udpa said in a Friday news release from MSU.

Young’s May 2018 appointment was met with backlash because he served on the Michigan Supreme Court when Engler was governor. The selection was seen a political move by Engler rather than a way to ensure transparency from MSU.

Young’s departure comes after continued pressure for MSU to waive its attorney-client privilege argument hindering the attorney general’s investigation into the school’s handling of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal. Former Kent County Prosecutor Bill Forsyth, who led the investigation, voiced frustration over the university withholding or redacting thousands of documents, claiming attorney-client privilege.

As general counsel, Young played a critical role in the $500 million settlement with hundreds of sexual assault victims of sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Young also previously served as lead counsel in coordinating multiple investigations and responses to Title IX lawsuits filed against MSU.

Young’s last day was Friday, according to MSU. Deputy general counsel Brian Quinn will take on general counsel role until a permanent replacement is named.

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