Wednesday, October 31, 2012
TCU student body president faces impeachment over alleged backdoor deals, reckless spending
Ladies and gentlemen: the future leaders of the Free World.
FORT WORTH After two weeks of questions about the decision to spend $50,000 on the SuperFrog statue, Student Body President Brent Folan is facing impeachment.
The motion to formally begin impeachment proceedings was made at the end of Tuesday evening’s SGA meeting by former SGA Representative Jordan Mazurek. The motion was signed by six student representatives, the minimum needed to initiate the process that began Tuesday night.
“I’m not ashamed of anything I’ve done in office,” said Folan to student representatives and about 60 students who crowded into the meeting.
Folan, responding to criticism for a lack of transparency on funding the $50,000 bronze SuperFrog statue on the first floor of the Brown-Lupton University Union, said: “I’m very proud of all the accomplishments we’ve had as a cabinet.”
Folan has previously said the correct channels were used to approve the statue at a Student Body Cabinet meeting on April 9. During the Tuesday meeting he said “based on the [Student Body Code] and the constitution, we did nothing wrong. We voted as a cabinet.”
Both SGA vice presidents have said there was an internal cabinet discussion over the statue at that meeting, but no procedural vote occurred.
Josh Simpson, vice president for operations, said he raised questions regarding the possibility of future changes to SuperFrog’s mascot design, and whether the project would be brought to the House of Representatives.
Last week, the SGA House of Representatives passed a bill requiring all non-budgeted student government spending above $15,000 to be passed by a majority of the House.
Since then, there has been student criticism about the statue’s funding process, its $50,000 price tag, and circulating rumors about a possible impeachment of Folan.
Mazurek created an event on Facebook urging students to attend Tuesday’s meeting. Mazurek once held the Inclusiveness & Intercultural Services seat on Intercom, which was elminated by Folan.
"I created a petition on Facebook that invited [students] to come to SGA and reminded them that SGA is an open forum for them to come and take part in,” he said at the meeting.
The judiciary board plans to meet Wednesday, according to an email sent by TCU Chief Justice Granger Talley. The board is made up of student justices who were appointed by Folan and serve until their respective graduations.
TCU 360 recieved an email prior to Tuesday’s SGA meeting from an anonymous source that contained details of a formal judicial board case announced by Talley.
The petition will be sent to the Judicial Board and they will meet to determine a verdict, he wrote.
According to Speaker of the House Luke Harville, a majority of the justices (three) must vote in favor of the impeachment before the proceedings are returned to the House of Representatives.
“If the formal hearing takes place, Plaintiffs and the defendant will be present and have the opportunity to state their case, call witnesses and provide evidence that argues in their favor,” Talley wrote.
If the Judicial Board votes in favor of the impeachment, the decision then goes back to House on Tuesday, November 6. If the House votes a two-thirds majority for the removal of Folan, he will no longer have governing power.
Talley wrote in the email that he would like to have a meeting before the formal hearing, as he wanted to make sure all justices understand how the Constitution and Student Body Code outlines the impeachment process.
The SGA Constitution is currently suspended.
“It was acknowledged upon suspension of the Constitution that the suspension would not prevent SGA from functioning appropriately,” he wrote.
Talley ended the email by saying, “The perception of SGA to the student body is dependent on our ability to follow procedure and remain transparent with our decisions. I cannot stress enough how important it is for this to run smoothly.
According to the Student Body Code, if Student Body President Brent Folan is impeached, there are several sanctions he could face:
- A warning
- A term of probation
- A fine
- An injunction from performing or to perform a specific act related to the offense
- Disqualification from holding a specific office
- Removal from office or seat
- A sanction to pay a fine may be imposed in addition to any other sentence
Pegasus News Content partner - TCU 360
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