By: Gerard Albert III/Assistant News Director
Carolina Gonzalez, comptroller of the Student Government Council on the Modesto Maidique Campus, will remain in her position as the senate failed to meet a two-thirds majority vote to remove her from office on Monday, Oct. 29.
The final vote count for Gonzalez’s removal was 16 yes’ to 14 no’s, falling four votes short of passing.
Gonzalez was up for impeachment after a contract guaranteeing herself and others paid positions in student government was released by Student Media. Gonzalez’s signature was one of four on the contract. Former SGC-MMC President Jose Sirven and former senator Javier Ortiz also signed the document and have since resigned.
Matthew Beck, head of internal affairs at the time of the trial, listed off five ethics code violations including Section 8.02 (i) which states “No Student Government Official shall cover up evidence or misrepresent any fact pertaining to a violation of the SGC-MMC Statutes, the SGA Constitution, or the FIU Student Code of Conduct.”
Beck also said that Gonzalez had not been fulfilling her duties as comptroller by missing executive meetings and not filing monthly financial reports. Mitra Ahmadinejad, graduate student senator, confirmed she has not received any reports from Gonzalez.
Gonzalez defended herself by reiterating that other people, specifically current SGC-MMC President Sabrina Rosell, knew about the contract and did nothing about it and that the contract was destroyed the night it was created. Rosell admitted to Student Media that she knew about the contract but failed to act upon it.
Student Media contacted Gonzalez and former president Sirven for proof the contract was nullified but did not get a response.
Gonzalez added that since she was not an SGA official at the time the contract was written, she is not eligible for punishment from SGA ethics violations. Beck pointed out the violations in question applied to her because in her current status as comptroller she still withheld information of corruption.
In his closing argument, Beck said he thinks impeachment is not the best route but instead imposing sanctions such as extra office hours or a donation to the food pantry would be a better punishment.
“At the moment I feel that we are just on a witch-hunt,” said Beck.
Gonzalez did present a financial report to the senate after she was notified that she would not be removed from office.
Further sanctions against Gonzalez are likely, but nothing concrete was proposed in the senate on Monday.