Impeachment request against Soto withdrawn

Two Portland State students opted to withdraw an impeachment request of student body president Rudy Soto on Aug. 20, less than a month after filing their initial appeal.

Two Portland State students opted to withdraw an impeachment request of student body president Rudy Soto on Aug. 20, less than a month after filing their initial appeal.

The two students, Jesse Anderson and Alex D’Aurora, cited several reasons for the withdrawal, including a lack of preparation by the Associated Students of Portland State University (ASPSU), former Judicial Board chair Keith Creech’s Aug. 20 resignation and the need for relaxation during the final weeks of summer.

“We don’t feel ASPSU is ready to focus on the issue,” Anderson said. “They’ve already rescheduled the second Judicial Board meeting to discuss the impeachment three times.”

Anderson and D’Aurora also said it is imperative for the Judicial Board, the highest legislative body in student government, to make a decision regarding the impeachment.

Although the appeal for Soto’s impeachment is currently withdrawn, Anderson and D’Aurora said they plan to refile in the near future. D’Aurora said the refile will probably occur sometime in the fall, when more students are on campus.

“We definitely want attention on the matter,” D’Aurora said. “One of the main problems is the students have no idea how their student fees are being used. If more students are taking part in the process, the rule violations wouldn’t be taking place.”

Anderson and D’Aurora originally filed the appeal on July 25 on the grounds that Soto misused student fee dollars to remodel the ASPSU office and purchase newly designed ASPSU apparel.

According to their appeal, Anderson and D’Aurora argued that Soto mismanaged the funds because his purchases were neither one-time unexpected purchases nor itemized expenses, as outlined in the ASPSU Constitution.

Soto made a reserve request of $10,000 to the Student Fee Committee on July 15.

He intended to use the money to pay overages from the Courtney Morse administration, which entailed two unplanned events that were not specified in the budget. Additionally, Soto planned to use the remaining amount to pay staff salaries and remodel the ASPSU office.

It was initially reported that Soto spent upwards of $8,000 on the office remodel and clothing, but later discovered the total was actually $5,150.72, due to an inability to purchase a laptop, several chairs and office supplies.

“I think they didn’t feel like the office remodel was necessary. But we needed a decent working environment,” Soto said. “It’s just a difference in opinions.”

Soto also said he never felt the case against him was valid, and thought of it more as a tool for retribution and to make headlines. He said he is glad the two students are ready to more forward.

Anderson and D’Aurora, who are the self-proclaimed Concerned Students of Portland State, also said they believe Creech’s resignation stems from their filing of Soto’s impeachment on July 25.

With Creech no longer serving on the Judicial Board, Anderson and D’Aurora said they doubt an accurate ruling can be made regarding their appeal because Creech was most familiar with the case.

“It’s just speculation, but I believe the issue we brought before him was the reason for his resignation,” D’Aurora said. “He has had a relatively easy job up until now. This was the biggest thing he had to decide. So I think his job just got a lot harder.”

Creech told The Vanguard on Sept. 2 that his decision to resign had nothing to do with the appeal for Soto’s impeachment. Creech, who partook in the summer commencement ceremony and has eight credits remaining until he graduates, said he was performing a job hunt and felt it was necessary to clear his schedule.

“Working for the Judicial Board is not my career,” Creech said. “I am now working as an administrative assistant, and the hours are such that I can stay on the Board for about another three weeks. Since there are only two other members around right now, that should provide enough time for everyone to return.”