Sen. Bizon pleads guilty to assaulting nurse practitioner

Senate plans no recourse against Republican lawmaker

By: - February 18, 2022 1:08 pm

Sen. John Bizon | Gov. Whitmer office photo

State Sen. John Bizon (R-Battle Creek), facing a misdemeanor assault and battery charge stemming from a medical visit in August, entered a guilty plea Thursday in Calhoun County.

Bizon was arraigned last month on the charge. He said in a statement Thursday that the incident is “regrettable.”

“As a doctor who has spent decades caring for those in need, I am deeply distressed that I unintentionally caused someone to feel unsafe,” Bizon said. “I was very sick at the time of the incident and did not behave as I normally would have. Nevertheless, I take this situation very seriously and have learned from it.”

State Sen. John Bizon on the Senate floor, June 16, 2021 | Screenshot

On Aug. 14, Bizon was ill with COVID-19 and visited the Oaklawn Medical Group to seek treatment. He and a female nurse practitioner were discussing medications when Bizon allegedly “intentionally grabbed her with his right arm/hand, by her waist, pulled her into his body, squeezed her hip with his right hand, and told her he is an otolaryngologist,” according to the police report.

Afterward, Bizon grew “visibly angry” when the nurse declined to order a specific medication for him. The medication he sought was reportedly not meant to treat his diagnosis.

Bizon also allegedly grabbed a medical assistant’s arm and told her, “my blood pressure is up” because she was in the room.

The nurse practitioner filed a report with Oaklawn on Aug. 15. When she did not hear back, she contacted her employer’s human resources department and was told to call the police.

Bizon was contacted by police about the incident on Aug. 18.

The state senator and former state representative previously ran an ear, nose and throat practice in Battle Creek until 2019. Bizon was first elected to the state Senate in 2018 and represents Calhoun, Barry and Ionia counties.

He currently chairs the Senate Families, Seniors and Veterans Committee and serves on the Oversight, Health Policy and Human Services and Energy and Technology committees in the Senate.

A spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) did not respond to a request for comment Friday, but it has been reported that he will not seek further punitive action against Bizon in the state Legislature.

“With this misdemeanor being addressed by the court and Sen. Bizon taking responsibility for his actions, I do not plan to take further action at this time,” Shirkey said.

Sen. Peter Lucido at a Washington Township coffee hour, Jan. 17, 2020 | Ken Coleman

The Senate has recently taken action against a senator for sexual harassment. In 2020, Shirkey had stripped then-Sen. Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Twp.) of his most prominent committee chairmanship before he left to become Macomb County prosecutor.

Lucido had been investigated by the Senate Business Office for sexist comments he made against Michigan Advance reporter Allison Donahue. Donahue’s complaint, along with similar complaints from state Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) and Melissa Osborn of the Michigan Credit Union League, were deemed credible by the investigation.

In response, Shirkey removed Lucido from his position as chair of the Senate Advice and Consent Committee and had him undergo additional training. Lucido kept his role as chair of the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins is a former Michigan Advance reporter. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service.