All charges against SG Comptroller Matt Handverger have been dropped, following an apology issued by Sens. Jared Alves and Josh Rothman early Friday morning, citing, among other points, that they had acted too quickly in filing the complaint.
Handverger is set to resign from his position next week, according to a source close to The Eagle.
Alves and Rothman charged Handverger with negligence and falsification of timesheets Aug. 28, catalyzing the first-ever SG impeachment proceedings, which began Tuesday night. Alves and Rothman issued the following statement, addressed to Speaker of the Undergraduate Senate Anthony Dunham at 2:30 a.m on Friday:
“Days ago I stated that the Senate was entering uncharted waters. However, the hearings held over the past few days have exposed previously unforeseen hazards and have revealed haste in my actions to impeach Matt Handverger. For this I apologize to the Comptroller.
Know that I never took the matter to impeach lightly, but it would appear that I should have spent an equal amount of time considering other options. While it is true that it is the Senate’s role to provide oversight, I would recommend that future senators heed the lesson of this process, and focus first on communication with those executives with whom we share this Student Government.
I hereby drop all charges. Let us move forward, and let us resolve to continue to serve the students of American University.”
Charges were dropped after over seven hours of impeachment proceedings this week. The proceedings, originally scheduled to last only three hours, took much longer than anticipated.
Handverger was relieved to find that the charges had been dropped and was thankful for the apology, despite the complication and duration of the proceedings, he said.
” [I’m] glad it’s over, glad I can get some sleep, glad this organization can get back to doing what it does best,” Handverger said, following the release of the statement. “I’m certainly glad that my name is cleared from everything. It was unfortunate that it wasn’t dealt with a different way, but stuff happens. The apology helps to acknowledge that it was a mistake, and that it was not the best way of doing it, and I’m grateful that it happened.”
Impeachment proceedings came to a halt at Thursday evening’s session, when the Judicial Board ordered the process to be stopped. An anonymous party filed an inquiry on the admissibility of evidence with the Judicial Board, prompting the order to suspend the hearing.
Senators and executives had questioned the admissibility of evidence during the first two days of these proceedings. However, the Judicial Order did not specifically reference any particular evidence as being questionable.
The order stirred controversy in the Senate during Thursday’s session. Sen. Steve Dalton outwardly expressed his reaction following the announcement.
“This is absurd ... Why are we being asked to turn over the proceedings to five people who are accountable to no one.”
The Eagle will provide further details regarding Handverger’s resignation as they become available. Check back at theeagleonline.com for more updates on this story as it develops.
Lindsey Anderson, Ethan Klapper, Stefanie Dazio and Ashley Dejean contributed to this report.