Folan found not guilty of misuse of student funds

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    After two and a half hours of discussion and testimony from three witnesses Monday, Student Body President Brent Folan was cleared of allegations that he misused student funds by the Student Government Association’s judicial branch.

    "I always believed that these charges were unfounded and without merit. I am pleased to see that the Judicial Board agreed. I look forward to getting back to the business of serving the student body at TCU," Folan wrote in an email.

    Critics had suggested that Folan proceeded with the purchase of the $50,000 SuperFrog bronze statue without formal approval of the SGA Cabinet.

    “The SGA Judicial Board carefully weighed the evidence and testimony of both Brent Folan and SGA representatives and determined that the impeachment petition is unfounded. The Judicial Board clears Student Body President Brent Folan of all allegations,” according to a statement released by Chief Justice Granger Talley.

    The board deliberated for an hour.

    Talley declined to comment further. 

    At last week’s SGA meeting, Jordan Mazurek, former student representative, initiated impeachment proceedings against Folan. Six SGA representatives signed the motion, the minimum needed to begin the impeachment process.

    Folan said the Cabinet “unanimously” voted on the statue’s approval. However, Cabinet member Joshua Simpson said the approval was an informal discussion and that no formal vote occurred.

    Jake Harris, a junior journalism major and TCU 360 reporter, Graham McMillan, Vice President for External Affairs, and David Belpedio, SGA Treasurer, testified during the hearing.

    They waited in the Acuff conference room on the third floor of the Brown-Lupton University Union before being escorted separately into the Chambers by Michael Russel, the executive director for student affairs administration.

    Russel handled the logistics of the meeting and guided the witnesses back to the Acuff conference room after discussion.

    The witnesses were told not to comment on the proceedings when questioned by TCU 360.
    Each witness was given five minutes to present an opening statement, followed by 20 minutes of cross examination by each party.  

    Harris described the proceedings as a “very tense environment.”

    According to the Student Body Code, if Folan had been found guilty, he could have faced several sanctions, including:

    • A warning
    • A term of probation
    • A fine
    • An injunction from performing or to perform a specific act related to the offense
    • Disqualification from holding a specific office
    • Removal from office or seat
    • A sanction to pay a fine may be imposed in addition to any other sentence.