UPDATE: See raw video of the debate which resulted in a UCF SGA Senate committee deciding unanimously that an impeachment affidavit filed against UCF SGA President Michael Kilbride should move forward to the full Senate to consider impeaching him.
UPDATE 10:30 PM- Click here to see a copy of the affidavit KnightNews.com obtained.
UPDATE 8:45 PM- Below is video of the LJR meeting’s final vote on moving the impeachment charges forward. We will continue posting video of the meeting throughout the night.
The LJR Committee voted unanimously to send the affidavit on to the senate and move forward with the process which could result in UCF SGA President Michael Kilbride’s impeachment and removal from office.
A non-binding opinion from SGA Attorney General Reggie Paros, sent to media by Kilbride’s Public Relations Specialist Tuesday night, suggested that the meeting may have to be re-heard because it started 3 minutes later than SGA statutes say it should have. However, a KnightNews.com analysis of past legal issues related to SGA impeachments suggests because everyone had reasonable access to the meeting, the LJR committee could just vote to “cure” the alleged breach at its next scheduled meeting by adopting the affidavit again and its minutes from this meeting and making the minutes public during an open, properly noticed meeting to “cure” any concerns regarding sunshine law access.
Meanwhile, there’s no indication Kilbride’s SGA has done anything to remove what lawyers insist is an illegal statute from its books to allow portions of the impeachment process to be secret. KnightNews.com based its legal analysis regarding the “cure” above largely off of case-law cited and research conducted regarding how our lawyer at the time found a way LJR could cure its breach during the previous Sunshine Law impeachment concerns. Read the demand letter our lawyer sent SGA at the time where such an appropriate “cure” is discussed, which would not require the entire meeting to be heard over again.
In that demand letter, the attorney cited the case law of Monroe County v. Pigeon Key Historical Park, Inc., to explain how the breach at that time could be cured. KnightNews.com found an Attorney General of Florida opinion which appears to support that notion. An excerpt is below:
“Thus, in a case involving the validity of a lease approved by a board of county commissioners after an advisory committee held two unnoticed meetings regarding the lease, a court held that the Sunshine Law violations were cured when the board of county commissioners held open public hearings after the unnoticed meetings, an effort was made to make available to the public the minutes of the unnoticed meetings, the board approved a lease that was markedly different from that recommended by the advisory committee, and most of the lease negotiations were conducted after the advisory committee had concluded its work. Monroe County v. Pigeon Key Historical Park, Inc., 647 So. 2d 857, 860-861 (Fla. 3d DCA 1994). The court also said that the adoption of the open government constitutional amendment, found at Art. I, s. 24 of the Florida Constitution, did not overrule the Tolar “standard of remediation.” Id. at 861.”
In this case, it appears that no interested party was unaware this meeting was happening. In fact, the delay of the meeting’s start time only served to draw a larger crowd. LJR rules forbid public comment during this portion of the impeachment process, so the outcome couldn’t have been swayed by non-members of LJR showing up to speak out in either way.
KnightNews.com asked follow up questions of Kilbride’s PR staff and Paros and will work an a much larger update as soon as we can.
As of around noon today, multiple sources, in and outside of SGA, tell KnightNews.com that impeachment papers have been filed against Mike Kilbride, the SGA president of the second largest university in the country.
The exact name of the individual who filed the papers has not been revealed, and KnightNews.com is working to find out more information about the nature of the charges. The charges come after a rough year in office for Kilbride, where most recently questions have been raised over potential pay-to-play politics after KnightNews.com exposed how Kilbride’s SGA awarded more than $50,000 in contracts to the company that he admitted gave him campaign shirts for only $2 each last February.
Kilbride has also faced criticism over the year for possibly taking illegal gifts from top officials at Disney, going on lavish spending sprees and watching his own Vice President resign. Senate’s LJR committee will meet today in the SGA senate workroom to discuss the impeachment and vote whether or not it will move to the legislative branch for further review.
Even if LJR does not move for further review, the senate has the authority to overrule their decision. LJR is required to push the impeachment forward if the allegation fits the definition of an impeachable offense.
Keep checking back for updates and video from the hearing. KnightNews.com will be on the scene, publishing the names of each committee member and the way they vote.