Boca House representatives file impeachment charges against another member

The counts against Rep. Alexander Suarez range from harassment to extortion.


Alexander Suarez (left) and Michaelangelo Hamilton (right) pose after their first House meeting last year. The original petition was to remove both of them from office, but the new Articles of Impeachment are against Suarez only. Photo courtesy of Hamilton’s Facebook

Hope Dean, News Editor

Editor’s note | Jan. 23, 1:30 p.m. This story has been updated with additional comments from SG Vice President Marianne Alex’s and Alexander Suarez.

The Student Court decided not to act on a petition that advocated for the removal of two Boca House of Representative members yesterday — but the House is taking the case on.

The petition, filed by former Director of Governmental Relations and former Rep. Jon Carter, claims that Reps. Alexander Suarez and Michaelangelo Hamilton broke state Sunshine Law, which requires that government operations be made public. The Court dismissed the petition because impeaching officials is not under their jurisdiction, but Reps. Grant Baron and Onyinyechi Okpala have submitted Articles of Impeachment against Suarez specifically.

The Articles list multiple grounds of impeachment against Suarez, including but not limited to harassment, incompetence, extortion, and defamation.

What do the Articles of Impeachment say?

Fourteen examples of alleged wrongdoing are provided to back up the Articles’ claims, ranging from group chat and email screenshots to Facebook live videos.

One email shows Suarez threatening to accuse former Pro Tempore Jared Stern and Speaker of the House Noah Goldberg of criminal activity.

“Unless you want a criminal record where you have no chances for a political career … then I suggest both back off and let me join my committee,” Suarez wrote.

He ended the messages by mentioning that criminal records would block the two from visiting Israel, as both Stern and Goldberg are Jewish-American.

The Articles state that this was “A threat and offense which was not necessary as the House Speaker informed all Representatives by email of the legitimate process in which committee changes would be executed,” and say the email is an example of extortion.

Suarez denies this claim.

“I have proud Jewish roots. The impeachment says I threatened to block Stern from travel to Israel. That isn’t true. I have no such power. I only pointed out his travel would be restricted if he was convicted of his crime, the implication am anti-Semetic in the impeachment is absurd,” he said via email.

Another email shows Suarez responding to Rep. Kitana Thomas’ informational email about a committee meeting with “You must really like me. Insisting I stay in your committee, taking a class with me.”

The Articles say this is an example of “misfeasance,” which is an action by a public official that is technically lawful but done in a damaging manner.  

The UP reached out to Thomas for comment, but did not recieve a response as of publication time. 

Multiple screenshots from a Facebook chat titled “Viva la Revolution” show Suarez talking about impeaching Goldberg and Boca campus Gov. Luke Turner outside of an official Student Government meeting. They also include him saying that that Goldberg serves “feminazis,” and that Suarez helped impeach an entire board at another university.

The Articles cite this as a violation of Sunshine Law, as well as an example of both harassment and “malfeasance,” which is an intentional wrongdoing by a public official.

In a statement written to the Student Court, Suarez claims that some of the “Viva la Revolution” screenshots were doctored by Rep. Javier Bravo and Chief Justice Isaiah Moriarity.

“I never used the term feminazi, and never said I wanted to impeach Noah or was for an impeachment at another college. A witness from Miami can attest I was not for impeachment there, and may be present next week for vote,” he told the UP via email.

This witness is former Miami Dade Student Government President Shaloma Gutierrez, who served during the 2016-2017 school year, he said.

However, the mention of doctored screenshots implies there are original screenshots that Suarez has not yet provided, the Articles point out.

“Keep in mind that I can barely turn on my computer somedays, so that’s enough of a struggle, let alone doctor screenshots,” Moriarity joked during the Student Court meeting.

Tired and fed up: the people behind the Articles of Impeachment

The Articles of Impeachment were written by Reps. Okpala and Baron and sponsored by Reps. Gabriella Miernik and Bravo.

The UP reached out to Okpala for comment, but did not receive a response as of publication time.

Grant Baron

Baron pitched in after being verbally “attacked” by Suarez during a House meeting last November, he said.

During the meeting, Suarez accused him of intimidating former Rep. Shane Isaacson and Rep. Hamilton. He also announced that Baron’s GPA was too low for him to remain a representative. Baron will appeal to keep his position and retain his abilities as a representative in the meantime.

In January, Suarez brought the issue up again in an email chain when Baron tried to sponsor legislation. For Baron, this was the last straw.

“I decided to remain in SG while I await appeal in order to show Suarez that I will not stand down when he tries to bully me,” he said via email.

Baron also said that “some representatives are scared of Rep. Suarez because of his constant bullying and are also worried about retaliation.”

Gabriella Miernik

Miernik is in favor of impeaching Suarez because of his alleged refusal to listen to any suggested options during conflicts.

Hamilton and Suarez allegedly invited her over to hang out in January, but the discussion quickly turned toward impeaching Goldberg, she said. Miernik thought it wasn’t a good idea, but “they just got the idea from what I could tell right before I arrived and just were going to run with it which I thought was insane and not thought out,” she said via email.

When Suarez began sending multiple emails to all to the representatives, she “knew that was the last straw and that truly he shouldn’t be representing the students.”

She thinks “very few” House members will support him during the hearing.

“You can be outspoken and vocal and still have respect in life and in this case SG but Suarez went about every conflict/issue in the wrong way which led him here. So in the end he has nobody to blame besides himself,” she said.

Javier Bravo

Bravo said via email that he decided to sponsor the articles because “we must take a stand against bullies and say enough is enough.”

“There have been numerous attacks against my character, as well as that of my colleagues, made by Suarez. With no evidence to sustain any of them (because they are made up),” he said.

Bravo ultimately believes that Suarez’s presence is a distraction from the House’s purpose of “working for the students and making our campus the best it can be.”

“More sad than mad:” Suarez’s side of the story

Despite it all, Suarez is confident that he will stay in his position.

“They came at me with the Dean’s office and it was suppressed, they came at me in Student Court, and it was suppressed. Am confident this will be suppressed as well and not be passed by the House. It only strengthens my resolve to fight for transparency,” he said.

He added that he is “more sad than mad,” especially about “former ally” Miernik allegedly “selling [him] out” to pursue the campus governor’s seat.

Miernik said she hasn’t made a decision on whether she’ll run for governor, given that she is involved in five student organizations, including SG.

Suarez admits that he made some mistakes and said that he “reached out to parties for mediation to no avail.”

He also believes that Moriarity is behind the attempts to impeach him.

“I have spoken to Madame Vice President [Marianne] Alex who is president of the Senate, and will be initiating an investigation into the Chief Justice speaking to her and 6 Senators on further courses of action against him for negligence of duty, defamation, and masterminding this charade of an impeachment against me,” he said.

Alex said that she told Suarez he could speak to the Senate about proposing Articles of Impeachment against Moriarity. However, she is not launching an investigation, she said —but the Senate can choose to do so if the Articles are filed.

The next House meeting is tomorrow, Jan. 18, at 3:30 p.m. in House Chambers.

Check back with the UP as this story develops.

Hope Dean is the news editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her at @hope_m_dean.