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USGD votes down bill to impeach Vice President of Services

The second attempt to impeach Ernesto Hernandez went down in a 7-4-1 roll-call vote at a USGD special session

Ernesto Hernandez, the vice president of services for Undergraduate Student Government Downtown, poses for a photo. A nonfeasance charge was leveled against Hernandez in April 2017.

Ernesto Hernandez, the vice president of services for Undergraduate Student Government Downtown, poses for a photo. A nonfeasance charge was leveled against Hernandez in April 2017.

Undergraduate Student Government Downtown voted down a bill that would have impeached Vice President of Services Ernesto Hernandez, at a special session Friday after he received two charges of nonfeasance.

The legislation was the second attempt at impeachment in the last two weeks, following a tense meeting where Hernandez received his second nonfeasance accusation.

Read more: USGD Vice President of Services charged with "nonfeasance"

Three senators — as well as the Senate and executive president — brought the bill forward, arguing that if they didn’t vote, it would set a precedent for bylaws to be broken in the future.

Hernandez spoke in his defense before the bill was defeated.

“I do take accountability and ownership for the nonfeasance,” Hernandez said. “I unfortunately was at conferences at that time, which was documented.”

He said that work could be done on the bylaws in the future.

“I do recommend to our next administration to look at our bylaws and make sure that these conferences that students attend, that they are excused formally,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said he would be watching the next administration to hold them accountable.

"As I mentioned I will be holding undergraduate student government accountable next year," Hernandez said. "I will be watching, I will be on those live feeds, I will be reading the minutes." 

College of Integrative Sciences and Arts Senator Tyler Tobyne, one of the senators introducing the bill, gave brief statements in support of the legislation.

“Ernie is a great human being and that, no one can argue,” Tobyne said. “However, as we all know, Ernie has missed multiple meetings. He has failed to represent the students he serves in multiple meetings where the students voices deserve to be heard.”

Tobyne also mentioned the attitude of Hernandez at the meeting last Friday.

“VP Hernandez also displayed conduct unbecoming of his office on April 14 when the discussion regarding nonfeasance was held,” Tobyne said. “VP Hernandez was witnessed slamming his placard, speaking directly to executive board members in an unbecoming way, as well carrying an unprofessional attitude the entire meeting.”

Tobyne finished his statements by outlining the necessity of a precedent.

“We set a very dangerous precedent with this impeachment,” Tobyne said. “Today we the senate decide how future senates will function. We set the precedence for bylaws, and we set the precedence for holding members of the government accountable.”

Several senators read testimony on behalf of student leaders and executive board members. 

Cronkite Senator Rilee Robinson read an excerpt from statements released by the current Vice President of Policy, Jimmy Arwood. Robinson said she agreed with the excerpt. 

“We have students with real problems and real issues who want real solutions,” Arwood’s statement said. “A real solution to me is not spending an entire week working on the impeachment of another member who only has a few days left in office anyway.”

The bill was defeated 7-4 with one abstention.

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