Michigan AG Nessel swipes at Oxford Schools after district declines shooting inquiry offer

December 07, 2021, 8:48 AM by  Alan Stamm

Michigan's attorney general responds bluntly, and with what seems like political posturing, after a brushoff by the school superintendent in Oxford.

The attorney general in Flint last summer. (Photo: Twitter)

"Disappointed to learn that the Oxford Community Schools has rejected the offer to have the Department of Attorney General conduct and independent review of the shooting, and instead have hired a private security firm who reports only to the district," Dana Nessel tweets late Monday.

Earlier that evening, she said on CNN: "I hope the school district cares as much about the safety of their students as they do shielding themselves from civil liability."

Superintendent Tim Throne announced Saturday that the district would hire an outside investigator to look at its actions.

At issue is what OIxford High administrators, counselors and teachers knew before the shooting latest Tuesday and whether school leaders responded reasonably to violent drawings and statements by sophomore Ethan Crumbley. He's accused of killing four schoolmates and wounding six last Tuesday.

In comments Tuesday to AP reporter David Eggert in Lansing, Nessel said: "When the institution is serving as a client and they hire a private agency, many times that is only sort of to cover up for any mistakes that might have been made as opposed to really getting to the truth of what occurred."

These swipes come after Nessel tweeted Sunday that her staff "reached out to the attorney for the Oxford Community School District and offered the services of the Michigan Department of Attorney General to conduct a full and comprehensive review of the 11/30/21 shooting and the events leading up to it.

"This is a tragic situation, and we can all benefit from understanding what happened. My office can provide a wide-ranging, comprehensive investigation and report into what happened, how it happened, and what we need to do to make sure it never happens again."

Nessel added Sunday morning on Twitter: "Our attorneys and special agents are uniquely qualified to perform an investigation of this magnitude and are prepared to perform an extensive investigation and inquiry to answer the many questions the community has regarding this tragedy." Her agency could issue subpoenas and warrants for evidence.

The Democratic attorney general's statements on social media and to journalists come shortly before an election year when she'll seek a second term -- context that's worth noting. 

Related today:

Commentary: How to Spot Red Flags in Troubled Students Like Ethan Crumbley

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