Initial Treasurer impeachment hearing set for a do-over

The committee conducting the impeachment proceedings of Student Body Treasurer John Taylor Willis has decided it will redo the initial hearing that took place September 5 due to improper proceedings that were affected by concerns pertaining to Student Conduct.

The Government Relations and Oversight (GRO) Committee Chair Ryan Dunn released a statement with Student Senate President Mitchell Moravec on the matter, saying they presented GRO with “clearer information regarding the handling of concerns related to matters of the Code of Conduct and the jurisdiction and duties of the Committee in matters of punitive processes of the Senate.”

What went wrong?

Moravec and Dunn said they “erred on the side of caution” in the previous hearing by avoiding matters they believed were to be exclusively handled Student Conduct. After a conversation with Student Conduct Associate Director Jess White, they said they were too cautious and prevented evidence from being heard that should have been permitted.

What’s an example of this evidence?

The sponsors of the bill to impeach Willis were not permitted to present evidence to substantiate their claim that some Student Body officers feel “unsafe” working in the Student Government suite because of its proximity to Willis’ office.

What are the effects?

  • The whole initial hearing will be done again.
  • The originally proposed punishment of impeachment is back on the table.
  • The charge of “abuse of power” is back on the table.

When is the new hearing?

The time and date of the hearing has not yet been announced.

What will be different this time?

Dunn and Mitchell are expected to allow evidence at the next preliminary hearing, but Dunn did not confirm whether he planned to remove reporters during closed session, which created a Technician headline last time around.

Why does it matter?

Mitchell and Dunn said they want to make the proceedings fair to all parties involved. After getting more information about how to handle matters that may be Student Conduct-related, the committee decided redoing the hearing would be most fair approach.

This is the first impeachment proceeding initiated by Student Senate in 10 years.

This article was updated at 2:02 AM on Thursday, October 12.