Student Government (SG) Chief of Staff Justin Hall resigned Wednesday after claiming he did not have the time to balance SG and his new job.
Some question his resignation, however, because many have not seen him in the SG offices since the student body presidential election and wonder whether he was paid for hours he didn’t work.
Hall and running mate LaNard Taylor did not win the presidency while his co-worker and current director of student life and development for SG, Gregory “Butters” Morgan, did.
Hall denied the claim that he’d been avoiding the offices, saying that there was no awkwardness between himself and Morgan after the election.
“I have no ill will towards him,” he said.
Morgan agreed that relations were good, saying he never had any interaction with Hall.
“There’s really no communication from him after the election,” he said.
Senator Cordell Chavis, chair of the Internal Affairs committee, said that he had not seen Hall in office since the election and questioned the amount of hours Hall claimed to work, thus how much he was paid.
According to SG payroll documents, Hall made $194.66 at $8.50 an hour from March 6 to March 22.
“He doesn’t interact anymore, that’s why I was surprised to see his payroll,” Chavis said.
Sarah Greenberg, SG administrative assistant, clocked in hours for Hall when he wasn’t in the office, according to student body president Garin Flowers.
Because Greenberg was clocking in hours for Hall, some think Hall’s pay is questionable, as it’s unclear whether he worked.
Hall said he was doing SG work outside of the office because he was busy.
Flowers, student body vice president Faran Abbasi and SG adviser David Armstrong spoke to Greenberg on Wednesday night and told her what she did was wrong and that her payroll was suspended.
Greenberg, who was also a Hall-Taylor supporter during the campaign, said that she didn’t understand why the issue is such a problem.
“I did clock him in because he was working,” she said. “He was doing work outside the office.”
“I don’t think she did it maliciously,” Flowers said.
Armstrong suspended Greenberg after Flowers received Hall’s resignation letter. Flowers said he spoke to Hall afterward about the situation, but only told him what happened to Greenberg and did not question Hall about his actions.
“I didn’t even want to talk about it with him because he resigned,” he said. “I was mad at the whole situation.”
Armstrong said that he is carrying out an investigation into time clock issues within SG.
“I am conducing my investigation as a University staff member that will potentially carry other issues with it,” he said.
Hall said that he did not know about the situation and agreed that Greenberg did clock in for him once, but said that it was justified.
“Yes, I have had her clock me in once, but I was working,” he said.
“Personally, I feel there are no problems with that because I was doing work. I have a fifteen-page report to prove that.”
Flowers said that Student Judicial Services (SJS) has been notified of the situation and will be carrying out an investigation of Hall and Greenberg.
Even though Hall has resigned, SJS can still prosecute him because he was still a student, Flowers said.
Despite the possibility of SJS action, Hall maintains that he was working even when he wasn’t in the SG offices.
“Every hour that I’ve been paid I’ve worked,” he said. “I’ll stand by that till the day I die.”
Resignation not a secret Hall said that he resigned because he did not have time to balance his new job and working in SG.
“I feel that it is both best for me and for the Executive Branch that I step down and allow for someone else to fill this job for the remaining months,” Hall wrote in his resignation letter.
Hall said that he got a new job in Plant City with a produce company and that it needed him sooner than he expected. Originally, Hall said he planned to keep his position until the induction of the new administration.
“They didn’t need me quite as much anymore, things were winding down,” he said.
“It’s not the fact there’s not a need for it. During right now when you have a transition period, the need for that position is not as high as it is the rest of the year.”
Flowers said that he and Hall previously had conversations about Hall’s resignation.
“We did speak before,” Flowers said. “He wasn’t coming to the office that much and saying he might leave. Then a week later I got his resignation letter.”
Hall would have served as chief of staff until Morgan’s inauguration April 24.
SG cannot hire another chief of staff for the remainder of the current term because it is too late in the school year, Flowers said.
Morgan said that he was “disheartened” that Hall resigned, but plans to set up interviews for new chief of staff applicants during the beginning of May.
“We’re going to send out applications this week or next week for cabinet positions for our whole office,” he said.