Governor Calls for President Ammons’s Immediate Suspension

After being briefed by members of his senior staff, Florida governor Rick Scott recommended that Florida A&M president, James H. Ammons, be immediately suspended Thursday pending the outcome of the investigation of the death of Robert Champion Jr.

Solomon Badger, Board of Trustees Chairman, was asked by the governor to enforce the recommendation at next Monday’s trustees meeting.

In a statement released by Badger, he said he has not discussed the matter with the Board of Trustees, although after doing so they would make a decision. “We have supported Dr. Ammons’ leadership even through this crisis. This is a very difficult decision that we are making.”

Governor Scott also contacted Ammons and informed him of his discussions with Badger.

The recommendation comes a week after Ammons’ public reprimand by the Board after which it decided not to put Ammons on administrative leave; and only a day after the Florida Department of Law enforcement announced it would be embarking on a separate investigation into financial fraud within the band.

Ammons said he would abide by the decision of the Board in a statement on Thursday. “I’m sure that this investigation will determine that under my leadership, the administration acted appropriately. This is a very critical time in the life of FAMU.”

He also said that the next course is for all involved to work in the best interest of the university and to decide how FAMU will “continue to carry out its mission” in the face of such difficult times.

The Board of Trustees has called an emergency called meeting for Monday Dec. 19 at 9 a.m. to address the issues set forth by the governor.

Check back for update on this story and coverage of the meeting.