Boca campus governor narrowly avoids impeachment

The decision can still be appealed, however.

Gov.+Luke+Turner+speaks+during+the+House+meeting+on+the+factual+issues+in+the+Articles+of+Impeachment+and+why+he+believes+he+should+stay+in+office.+Photo+by+Hope+Dean
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Boca campus governor narrowly avoids impeachment

Gov. Luke Turner speaks during the House meeting on the factual issues in the Articles of Impeachment and why he believes he should stay in office. Photo by Hope Dean

Gov. Luke Turner speaks during the House meeting on the factual issues in the Articles of Impeachment and why he believes he should stay in office. Photo by Hope Dean

Gov. Luke Turner speaks during the House meeting on the factual issues in the Articles of Impeachment and why he believes he should stay in office. Photo by Hope Dean

Gov. Luke Turner speaks during the House meeting on the factual issues in the Articles of Impeachment and why he believes he should stay in office. Photo by Hope Dean

Sophie Siegel and Kerri Covington

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Boca campus Gov. Luke Turner faced impeachment charges from three students today. The controversial hearing drew such a large crowd that the meeting was moved to a bigger room and four campus cops were standing by outside.

Two and a half hours later, 23 of the 40 Boca House of Representatives members in attendance voted “yes” to impeach him, but this wasn’t enough to secure the required two-thirds vote to remove him from office. Turner is still governor — for now. In the coming weeks, sponsors of the impeachment charges can appeal the decision to the Student Court. Impeachment sponsor Sayd Hussain said that he will not appeal, but added that other House members may.

A crowd of both SG members and other FAU students, making up a group of over 140 people combined, came to participate in or see the Boca House’s discussion of the Articles of Impeachment in the Student Union Majestic Palm Room. Normally, the meetings — attended by few members of the student body — are held in the Student Union House Chambers, which seats 72 people.

Because nearly every seat in the Majestic Palm room was filled, some attendees had to stand in the back of the room to watch the proceedings. Photo by Hope Dean

Turner faced 14 impeachable counts, ranging from alleged corruption to misusing Student Government money to failing to communicate with his staff. It was originally 13, but another count was added later.

At the meeting today, Turner called the claims against him “graceless” and said he has “nothing to hide.”

Rep. Macy McDonald brought up alleged flaws in the articles, like the amount of money Turner spent since he took over as governor this past summer.

Turner added that he didn’t spend nearly as much as the articles claimed.

It was also brought up that members of the Governor’s Administrative Cabinet, Director of Multicultural Programming Elijah Colas and Treasurer Gabriella Webb, were fired today but the action was retracted before the meeting. During the proceedings, Turner didn’t explain why.

And yesterday at a legislative discussion meeting, Colas mentioned an initial fear of backlash if he supported the impeachment.

Turner had also filed to delay the vote on the articles but later withdrew it.

“I think it’s important to take into account this meeting and I just want to say I am honored and I am privileged to serve in this particular position,” Turner told the UP. “I really was elected for a reason.”

Hussain expressed his concern regarding the meeting’s outcome.

“We are very disappointed in the vote,” he told the UP. “I believe this [is] another form of corruption.”

Former SG associate justice Sayd Hussain, the initial author of the Articles of Impeachment, gives a short speech about why he believes Turner should be impeached. Photo by Hope Dean

But Rep. Javier Bravo said that “growth cannot come without mistakes,” regarding Turner and voted “no” on the impeachment.

Former Rep. Shane Isaacson, who previously worked on Turner’s governor campaign, said “as good as a person that Luke is, he is a bad governor.” He voted “yes” on the impeachment. Isaacson resigned from his position as representative after the vote for “unrelated issues.”

The next House of Representatives meeting is Nov. 30 at 3:30 p.m. in the Student Union House Chambers.

Check back with the University Press for updates.

Sophie Siegel is a staff writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @SophSiegel.