USG Tempe issues impeachment articles against policy VP

USGT Senators charged Vice President of Policy John Gimenez with verbal abuse and misconduct Tuesday

Senators of Undergraduate Student Government at Tempe charged Vice President of Policy John Gimenez with nonfeasance and misconduct in a resolution to impeach him Tuesday night.

The impeachment resolution introduced at an internal executive meeting described inappropriate and unprofessional behavior by Gimenez including verbal abuse, retaliation and misconduct unbecoming of the office. 

The Senate did not come to a vote on whether to remove Gimenez during the meeting and will hold another executive session on Monday, Nov. 5 to continue the trial. 

After Tuesday's meeting, Gimenez denied the allegations against him and said he was hopeful about how things would turn out. 

"I look forward to what the Senate will find, and I know that they will see the truth," Gimenez said. "I understand the seriousness of the allegations but wholeheartedly deny them."

The impeachment resolution also said Gimenez stirred up internal conflict within USG and failed to communicate with others in a timely manner.

In written answers given to The State Press, USGT senator and political science junior Ryan Magel elaborated on their basis of impeachment. 

Magel said Gimenez tried to freeze out other campuses from hosting or planning a debate between U.S. Senate candidates Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally. After the Council of Presidents confronted Gimenez regarding excluding campuses, Magel said Gimenez reacted inappropriately. 

"Gimenez wrote an inappropriate message to (USGT) President (Allison) Sorgeloos, placing the blame for his actions on her and in essence calling her a terrible president for standing with the other campuses in this matter," Magel said in his statement to The State Press. "In retaliation, he proceeded to not so much as even invite the other campuses student governments to the event until 2 days before it was to be held and continued to exclude them in the planning process."

In addition, Magel said Gimenez worked against transparency by suggesting USGT should have "whipped" votes for a senate bill. 

"Vice President Gimenez suggests that as a government we should be 'whipping' votes as opposed to letting the student voice be heard," Magel said in the document. "USG is supposed to be a transparent organization but when we have a Vice President who is actively going against transparency, then that is unacceptable." 

Magel also said Gimenez failed to perform adequately when he was assigned to work with the Governor's Youth Council on legislation, according to Magel's statements. He said Gimenez asked him to do much of the work for the legislation only one day before it was to be introduced. 

"By promising the Governor's Youth Council that he would have this legislation at the next senate meeting and then not contacting any senators to do so he has failed to lead in a way that would set this policy here at the Tempe Campus and beyond," Magel said in his statement.

In a written statement, Gimenez denied all of the allegations and thanked individuals who support him. 

"The allegations levied against me and my character are serious and have the potential to haunt someone for the rest of their lives," Gimenez said. "For the past 24 hours, my life has been turned upside down and I've been in shock. However, I would like to thank each and every individual who has expressed their support."

Before the impeachment resolution was officially introduced, Alex Butler, a former USGT intern and former senator from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, spoke out as a character witness on Gimenez's behalf.

He spoke of his friendship with Gimenez, but his speech was cut short twice by Senate President Joshua Blinkoff and Magel. 

Blinkoff said the senators would not be accepting any external evidence as the impeachment was an internal affair. 

"That is going to not only provide an unfair advantage to one side, but it is also external evidence that I am not including," Blinkoff said. "I'm trying to keep things as factual as possible."

Ultimately, Butler was shut down, and the regular session continued without any further mention of the impeachment trial until the Senate voted to move into an executive session and the audience was asked to leave. 

Blinkoff recused himself from the trial following an "outburst... accusing Gimenez of lying when asked if anyone ... talked to him about changing his behaviors," according to Magel. 

Going forward, President Pro-Tempore Nicole Morote will be presiding over the impeachment proceedings, Magel said. 


 Reach the reporter at krquaran@asu.edu and follow @kiaraquaranta on Twitter. 

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