Former project manager and current Chief of Staff Rachel Bryant was found not in violation of misuse of Student Government (SG) office hours in a Judicial Hearing on Oct. 24, and evidence against her was found to be collected illegally.
A Judicial Complaint was filed by Senate Pro-Tempore Sami Mims against Bryant on Sept. 30, accusing her of misusing A&S fees by sending club emails while she was “on the clock” for her SG position.
In a private meeting days before the hearing, the prosecution, the defense and the chief justice decided pieces of evidence from the prosecution would be thrown out because they were gathered illegally. This means the other five justices were not shown the evidence, and it was not used in the hearing or taken into consideration when choosing a verdict.
Attorney General Will Godwin explained when evidence is obtained illegally or unethically they throw it out because they don’t want to encourage that kind of behavior. The discarded evidence was collected by Mims, who is also chair of the Constitution & Statutes Committee.
According to Student Advocate Cole Poppell, the evidence was thrown out because it was collected during Mims’ office hours, which is not allowed.
“There are rumors that I am running for [SG] president in the coming spring,” Bryant said in an interview with Spinnaker. “I have not made that decision yet.”
She explained that the status as a potential candidate could make her a target for people who view her as competition.
The prosecution’s main piece of evidence was one email from SG President Caleb Grantham about proper use of office hours and correctly documenting them. Although Rachel Bryant’s time sheet is the foundation for the case, it was not used as evidence because it was discarded in the meeting prior to the hearing.
According to the official judicial decision, the court did not find the prosecution’s evidence compelling enough to issue an “in violation” verdict.
“The justices made the only decision they could given the fact that evidence wasn’t given to them that could have overturned the case,” Mims said in a statement to Spinnaker.
To learn about past complaints and hearings, visit our SG news page.
For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.