New information has come to light that may support the bribery accusations that were made against Student Government Association President Nick Larkins during his campaign .
Knight News has received a non-redacted version of an email that shows the names of the students who were allegedly bribed by Larkins during his campaign.
Both Karis Lockhart and Bonsu Appou were both named on this alleged bribery list, according to public records submitted to UCF by the accuser in which he suspected Larkins promised positions in exchange for support.
Robert “Bobby” Sells, who made bribery accusation against Larkins during his campaign, sent the email on March 30. In the email, Sells goes into detail about students who were allegedly bribed with positions within Larkins cabinet, in exchange for support.
“I would like to clarify some of the names I put on the original supporting document page of people offered positions in exchange for their support,” Sells writes in an email to the SGA Election Commission. The Message goes on to list six names of people who were allegedly bribed by Larkins.
Of the six, only Appou and Lockhart were nominated for positions in Larkins cabinet.
Sells attempted to withdraw his complaint via email on April 3.
On April 6, a hearing was held to determine if these bribery accusations were legitimate. Sells did not attend the hearing, so the complaint was dropped.
Though Sells chose not to participate in the hearing, he still believes that bribery did take place, and that the student body should care about this.
“They should, especially students who applied for positions that were pre-selected, because they were never given a fair chance to begin with,” Sells said.
Knight News reached out to Larkins and asked him about the alleged bribery by Sells.
“Karis and Bonsu were 2 of 47 applicants Cristina and I interviewed, Larkins said. “We put each applicant through a rigorous interview process and we selected the most qualified individuals.”
Knight News responded by asking the president for the applications of the students who applied for the same positions as Lockhart and Appou. Knight News wanted these applications so we could be sure the “most qualified individual” received the position.
Larkins simply replied, “No.”
Knight News reached out to Lockhart on April 4, for a comment on the allegation that Larkins promised her a position.
“Promised no,” Lockhart adamantly said.
“ I was reached out by both candidates to apply for a legislative aide position. Obviously with my work at the Florida Federation of College Republicans and a conservative legislator what my work would be done here at UCF would be helpful with my contacts up in Tallahassee. I already have a lobbying experience with the Florida Federation of College Republicans. I know who to talk to, or I know who to go to know who to talk to. So they both reached out to me. So I think it was really funny to watch candidates poke at each other saying you’re promising postilions when I’ve had conversation’s with both candidates about a position. That’s politics. Talking to people and seeing if I win would you be on board, that politics for you, and people don’t remember that during SGA elections.”
Lockhart continued to explain how she is the most qualified for the position and regardless of the outcome of the election; she planned to “be on board” for the legislative aide position.
“If either candidate won I was applying for that position. I think I would be great at that position, I think I’d bring another aspect to it,” Lockhart said.
Knight News also reached out to Appou but did not hear back from him promptly.
Both Lockhart and Appou will go before the senate Thursday night at 8 p.m. for their conformation hearings. They will each need a two-thirds vote in order to be confirmed.