Khan and Morris avoid impeachment

Allegations against student body president Omar Khan and vice president Ryan Morris concerning violations of Student Government statutes were dropped Tuesday night.

The two investigative committees found no grounds on which to recommend impeachment to the SG senate.

However, the investigative committee for Khan did find that he was guilty of not filling cabinet positions in a timely manner. The actions, however, were not found to be malicious and therefore not considered strong enough for impeachment.

Greg Hyden, chairman of the Khan committee and an SG senator, said fairness and justice were maintained during the investigative process and partisanship was left outside.

“We found no strong grounds for impeachment (against Omar Khan),” Hyden said.

Khan said his No. 1 goal is, and will always be, SG, and that he and Morris are dedicated to the students.

“SG is a family internally and we need criticism,” Khan said. “But externally we need to come together and be passionate about SG and the students and unite.”

Khan added that although he may not agree with the criticism his committee brought forth, the work and dedication they put in was commendable.

“My committee worked hard, and I saw their dedication to find a solution for the students,” Khan said. “When an allegation is brought up it should be met seriously.”

Ryan Caruso, senate president, said the impeachment proceedings had ended and it was time to move on.

“We need to go back to the issues for the students,” Caruso said.

According to SG statutes, because the committees did not make any recommendations for impeachment, the investigations have ended and no further inquiries will be taken regarding the violations.

More than 50 students from different organizations filled Room 271 in the Phyllis P. Marshall Center to hear the committees’ decisions. The hallway was also lined with students trying to get into the room to show support for Khan and Morris. Cheers and clapping could be heard as the committees made their announcements to the senate.

Keller Henry, a junior and secretary of Amnesty International at USF, said she wanted to be there to support Khan and represent the students.

“The decision was justified tonight,” Henry said. “Hopefully SG can get back to the issues for the students and form cohesiveness.”

Khan and Morris were being investigated for violations that were brought up by former marketing director Bishop Taylor.

Taylor was terminated on Sept. 8 and said he arranged for the investigation because he wanted to make sure that he was not held responsible for the actions that he said Khan and Morris had taken when filling cabinet positions. In addition, Taylor said he wanted to make sure that the students were fully represented in SG.

Taylor told the committees that Khan and Morris refrained from hiring anyone for the position of chief of staff in the cabinet, one of the positions mandatory by SG statutes. He also claimed they neglected to properly advertise the openings for the director of executive affairs and director of student lobbying, two other statutory mandatory positions.

Taylor was not present at the meeting and was not able to be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Morris said even though the impeachment has been hanging over him for the past week and a half, he has tried to stay focused on the issues. He is pleased with the outcome.

“Now, (Omar and I) need to focus on what we need to do, and that is work for the students,” Morris said.

Khan echoed Morris and said he was extremely happy that the impeachment investigation is over.

“I think that the turnout stands for itself. We are accountable to them — the students — and I will continue to serve them,” Khan said.

Sebastian Meyer contributed to this report.