Michigan State paid PR firm $500k to monitor social media involv - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Michigan State paid PR firm $500k to monitor social media involving Nassar's victims' and related media coverage

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Latest on the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case (all times local):
  
2:40 p.m.
  
Michigan State University paid roughly $500,000 to a public relations firm for work in January tracking media coverage and social media activity related to the case of disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar.
  
The Lansing State Journal reports Wednesday that New York-based Weber Shandwick billed the university $517,343 for 1,440 hours of work done by 18 employees. The figures came from documents obtained by the newspaper through a public records request.
  
The firm outlined and evaluated related news coverage and engagement on social media posts. The work previously had been done by university employees, though some of that continued alongside the outside firm's work.
  
A Michigan State spokeswoman says the university no longer works with Weber Shandwick. She didn't provide a reason.
  
Nassar is serving a decades-long prison sentence for molesting patients and possessing child pornography. Roughly 200 women gave powerful courtroom statements against him earlier this year.
  
___
  
1 a.m.
  
Lawyers for Michigan State University and more than 200 girls and women say they will restart talks that could lead to a settlement in civil lawsuits related to sexual abuse by former sports doctor Larry Nassar.
  
In a court filing Tuesday, both parties say they are scheduling mediation with Layn Phillips, a former federal judge in Oklahoma.
  
The filing was made on the same day Nassar's former boss, ex-medical school dean William Strampel, was charged with crimes stemming from the Nassar investigation. Strampel is accused of failing to properly supervise Nassar and committing his own sexual misconduct.
  
Lawsuits have been filed against Michigan State, campus officials, USA Gymnastics and a Lansing-area gymnastics club. Nassar's victims say complaints about the doctor were ignored for years.
  
Nassar is serving decades in prison for sexual abuse and possessing child pornography.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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