UM blasted for hiring firm to investigate doctor scandal without waiving privilege

Detroit News

March 28, 2020

By Kim Kozlowski

The University of Michigan says it will issue a “non-privileged report” from a new law firm it has engaged to investigate claims of sexual abuse regarding the late Dr. Robert E. Anderson — a move that produced pushback from advocates for the late doctor’s accusers.

The investigation will be conducted by WilmerHale under attorney-client privilege to protect the confidentiality of all sexual misconduct survivors and witnesses, the university said, but the findings will be released to the public and the university at the same time.

Regent Ron Weiser — the board chair who recently came forward with his story of abuse by Anderson — said during a phone interview that the attorneys working on the investigation are top-notch, trained investigators and will be reporting to the regents, who work for the public, not administrators who work for the school.

He emphasized that the report that will be prepared for the public will not include names of those who come forward, since not everyone wants to be public about a sexual abuse claim.

Weiser said the report will be released to the public at the same time as the regents get it, and that the board will not see it before the public.

“This is the most transparent report anybody is going to have,” he said. “No one is going to have any influence over what it says.”

But UM’s decision stunned many who are advocating for alleged victims of Anderson, who served as the head of University Health Service and the team physician for the Athletic Department from 1968-2003. He died in 2008.​​​​​​

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