SGA President Targeted for Impeachment

61st Student Body President, Tonnette Graham.

The student senate voted Monday to have Student Body President, Tonnette Graham, impeached.

Graham is a Tallahassee native and was the youngest student senate president in FAMU's history. She is currently serving her second term.

Monday at the student senate meeting, a speaker, in lobbying form, Kyle Washington, charged the senate to impeach Graham.

“He [Kyle Washington] charged the senate to impeach Madame graham and the senate responded with a motion to forward to impeachment,” said Pernell Mitchell II, Judicial and Rules committee chairman.

The vote was 16-2, in favor of impeachment.

The A&S budget for the 2015-2016 school year was approved on April 30, but Graham, after more money for the budget had been made available, created a new budget, allocating out the new funds that were made available.

Graham said in a press release Wednesday that believes personal agendas prompted the vote.

“The impeachment vote brought against me by a minority group of the FAMU Student Senate is regrettably based upon what appears to be personal agendas instead of the most important agenda – the needs of our students,” Graham said.

Thomas Alexander, associate vice president for Student Affairs raised concerns with the new budget created by Graham after comparing the pre-approved and the final SGA 2015-2016 A&S budget.

In an e-mail, Alexander outlines line-items that were “improperly added” to the budget.

“While I understand that the [SGA] president has line-item veto authority per the Constitution and Statutes, those changes must be presented to the Senate,” Alexander said.

He added that changes must be presented so senate has the opportunity to approve or overturn the new budget.

 On July 2, to Alexander by Graham, she responded to concerns about her allocation of monies.

“While it is correct that the Student Senate may override a line-item veto, 760.7 of the Student Body Statutes does not require the Senate to approve those [A&S budget] changes,” Graham wrote.

However, Senate president, Derek Keaton, wrote to the Chief Justice, that if any portion of the A&S Budget had been vetoed, those funds would be deemed unallocated.

“Veto authority does not provide the authority to reallocate,” Keaton said.

William E. Hudson Jr., vice president of Student Affairs, he says Graham made the best decision.

“Trustee Graham made the best decision with the time she had in the interest of the student body,” Hudson said.

In a meeting in August, including: SGA President, Tonnette Graham; Justin Bruno, Vice President of SGA; Derek Keaton, the Senate president and three senators, $82,500 in line items were placed back into the senate unallocated account.

“I choose to simply do what is right. And I will not be deterred,” Graham said.

An informational session regarding recent events will be held by the Judicial & Rules committee in the Senate chambers, Wednesday at 5 p.m.