NISG member to be investigated

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NISG member to be investigated

MAGGIE MILLER/Courtesy Photo

MAGGIE MILLER/Courtesy Photo

MAGGIE MILLER/Courtesy Photo

CLINTON OLSASKY and JACOB MADDEN

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Yesterday, March 28, at approximately 10:20 p.m., a motion to form an investigative committee, with the goal of looking into past behavior of Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) Director of Governmental Relations Maggie Miller, passed with 16 yes votes, zero no votes and one abstention.

NISG President Jamal White put forward Executive Order 28, calling for the removal of Miller from office. The formation of an investigative committee does not constitute a guilty verdict from the Senate, but is the beginning of the process of impeachment as laid out in the NISG Constitution.

The two impeachable offenses, as enumerated in the NISG constitution, are “abuse of powers or responsibilities” and “unethical conduct while in office.”

“I truly believe in the standard of ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ I do not view the forming of this committee as a bad thing, rather a good thing to prove definitively that I did not operate inappropriately in my role,” Miller wrote in a statement to the Northern Iowan. “The Senators did the right thing forming this committee, and I am confident at the end of it, we will be able to put these rumors to rest. Until the results of this committee are revealed, I will continue to operate as a servant leader for this campus and fight for student interests at the Capitol.”

The order lists several reasons calling for the removal of Miller, including devaluing students, abuse of power and using her position to defame other NISG members to legislators at the state house.

“[Miller] has made it very difficult to operate well within our workplace and has made it a very uncomfortable dynamic and atmosphere,” White said. “I think it’s just been a trying year altogether in dealing with ongoing poor behavior on her part, and I think that it came time when we had to draw a line. […] The work that you do doesn’t excuse bad behavior to any extent, and that will not be accepted or tolerated.”

“The way that she treats the people that she represents is very unbecoming,” said Darvel Givens, NISG director of diversity. “It’s appalling. It’s vicious. […] I’m in no way angry with her or upset; it’s more of a disappointment because of the work that she has done this year, for her to put her own self in this situation.”

Givens went on to describe Miller’s alleged abuse of power, as detailed in the executive order. According to Givens, the allegation leveled against Miller was in reference to efforts on Miller’s behalf to contact legislators, informing them of an alleged interaction between Miller and Givens. Givens maintains that Miller’s intentions were to “taint and defame” his character.

“The fact that a report was filed was horrendous,” Givens said. “But […], the fact that she knew in her heart of hearts that it was false makes it even more psychotic.”

The following reasons were listed in the executive order as explanation for the recommended impeachment:

“Ms. Miller has displayed an outrageous abuse of power and has failed to serve as a positive and supportive role model within her role as Director of Governmental Relations.

“Ms. Miller has used her role to manipulate and depower other students creating a negative rhetoric at the capitol about other students within NISG to legislators.

“Ms. Miller has managed to devalue and diminish the character and work of other NISG members and students of UNI at large.”

The motion passed by the NISG Senate to form the committee, which will begin investigation next week on Wednesday, April 4, as the constitution requires one week’s notice be given before an investigation begins.

The investigation will be headed by NISG Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Ben Dzaboff and four other members to be appointed by Dzaboff. The investigation will last for one week, with evidence being presented to the investigative committee after seven days, at which point, if the committee deems necessary, formal charges shall be created and the accused will appear before the committee.

If the accused is found guilty of the charges by a majority vote of the committee, the accused will have been impeached.

Should the committee decide to impeach, the investigative committee would bring the charges before the Senate, where a two-thirds vote is needed to remove Miller from office.

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