Student Government members make things ‘personal’ over Boca governor impeachment charges

House of Representatives members talked over and shouted at each other within the first 10 minutes of meeting.


Things became heated when House of Representatives members met to discuss the possible impeachment of Luke Turner. Photo courtesy of the FAU House of Representatives Facebook page

Sophie Siegel, Staff Writer

Editor’s note | Dec. 7 1:12 p.m. This story has been updated to include Rep. Alexander Suarez’s comments. 


House of Representatives members met to discuss the possible impeachment of Boca Gov. Luke Turner yesterday — but things quickly took a different turn.


Attendees brought up past and current conflicts between members as things grew tense in the Student Government conference room. Chaired by Rep. Michaelangelo Hamilton, the meeting featured Speaker of the House Noah Goldberg, student body President Kyle MacDonald, Vice President Marianne Alex, Chief Justice Isaiah Moriarity, all of SG’s advisers, and the authors of the Articles of Impeachment, among others.


“Let’s not make it personal,” Sayd Hussain, a former Student Court associate justice who co-authored the Articles of Impeachment against Turner, urged the members as some began shouting.


Moriarity brought up how Rep. Alexander Suarez, who formerly sponsored the Articles of Impeachment, was arrested in 2017 and pleaded “no contest” to theft and use of a false credit card number. “No contest” is the “alternative to a guilty or not guilty plea, whereby the defendant neither disputes nor admits to doing the crime,” according to Free Advice Legal.

However, Suarez told the University Press that it is “utterly false” that he was “convicted of credit card fraud.” He claims the judge put the case under “withheld adjudication,” which is when a person is not formally convicted.


Suarez added that at the time of the incident, which took place in Tampa, he was living in Miami and couldn’t afford to travel back and forth for hearings. Because of this, he said his public defender advised him to plead “no contest.”


The crowd also discussed Suarez talking about official SG business, such as impeaching the governor, in a Facebook group chat, as well as on Owl Radio yesterday. You can listen to the recording here.


Moriarity sent a photo of the group chat, titled, “Viva La Revolution,” to the UP as evidence to back up what was being discussed.


In the photo, Suarez’s Facebook profile is pictured as saying, “I’ve helped impeach an entire board before [and] I can do it again and did it with less people. I say we impeach Noah [Goldberg] and the governor.”


But Suarez claims he never said that, adding that the photo was doctored.


“The screenshot was never shown in the meeting or read, it was just referenced, the quote as I stated in the meeting was doctored,” he told the UP.


Hussain later told the UP he emailed Speaker Goldberg to remove Suarez as a sponsor of the Articles of Impeachment. Hussain said he didn’t feel that people were “comfortable” with having Suarez as a sponsor. He added that he did not want people to vote against the articles because Suarez was a representative of them.


Former SG official Jon Carter is also looking to impeach Suarez and Hamilton.


“Student Government members must recognize they are elected officials of their community,” Carter said. He believes they must be held to the same standards of non-SG officials and “must be held accountable.”


Check back with the UP for updates on this situation.


Others were concerned about their job status in Turner’s administration if they were to support the impeachment.


“I was afraid of any backlash from my boss,” Director of Multicultural Programming Elijah Colas said about coming forward with complaints regarding Turner.


Rep. Matthew McClure, who has been friends with Turner since high school, emphasized the importance of not letting personal relationships influence members’ opinion when it comes time to vote on Turner’s impeachment.


“People shouldn’t be afraid of losing their jobs,” McClure said. “We have a duty to the students, to support the students.”  


If Turner is impeached, Speaker of the House Goldberg would assume the role as the campus governor through the end of the spring semester.


The official House of Representatives meeting will vote on the impeachment charges today at 3:30 p.m. in the Student Union’s Majestic Palm room.


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