Blackwell's Lawyers to pay 52K to Dantonio, other MSU Staff

Lawyers for former Michigan State football staffer ordered to pay Mark Dantonio and others $52,010.
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Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Berens ordered Curtis Blackwell's lawyers to pay $27,010 to two Michigan State Police Department detectives, and $25,000 to Mark Dantonio, former athletic director Mark Hollis, and previous university President Lou Anna K. Simon.

U.S District Court Judge Janet Neff dismissed Blackwell's previous lawsuit of wrongful termination against Mark Dantonio and other university officials while removing Blackwell's attorneys, Andrew Paterson and Thomas Warnicke.

In addition, Paterson was referred to chief judge Robert Jonker for potential disciplinary matters.

The sanctions were handed down on Tuesday after Berens agreed that Warnicke and Paterson had abused the court's process to harass and embarrass Dantonio and the other defendants.

Blackwell filed a federal lawsuit in 2018 claiming he was wrongfully arrested and made the scapegoat for sexual assault allegations made against three football players.

Louis Gabel, a lawyer for the Jones Day law firm, was hired by the university in 2017 to investigate the handling of sexual assault allegations involving those three football players at an on-campus party in January of 2017. The Jones Day report was released after Blackwell was let go by the university. The report cleared Dantonio and all other MSU officials, except for Blackwell.

He was the only staff member let go following the sexual assault allegations.

Blackwell alleges his contract was not renewed because he exercised his Fifth Amendment right when he declined to speak with Jones Day.

The claim of wrongful arrest against two MSU Police Department detectives is still pending in court.

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