MOUNT PLEASANT, MI – Central Michigan University has suspended a third employee in its investigation into a relationship with a Lansing public relations firm under fire after misconduct allegations against its owner.
CMU spokeswoman Heather Smith confirmed the suspension Monday, April 19, but said the university has no further information to share.
Since late March, CMU has been investigating its relationship with Vanguard Public Affairs, a Lansing-based firm that has done work on high-profile Democratic political campaigns, campaigns for local offices and communications for unions and corporate clients.
Vanguard’s owner, TJ Bucholz, has been accused of inappropriate behavior, sexual harassment and fostering a toxic work environment by several women, including current students or recent graduates of CMU working as interns or staff.
CMU placed a staffer and a faculty member who may have had knowledge of the situation on administrative leave when it began the investigation. The university did not announce their names, but the university’s student newspaper, Central Michigan Life, reported they are journalism faculty members.
The university hired former U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider to investigate its connections with Vanguard. Though Schneider attended high school with Bucholz, CMU previously affirmed its comfort with him running the investigation.