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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Shapiro Appointed Special Prosecutor in the Impeachment of Thomas

    Senator Nathan Shapiro appointed himself as Special Prosecutor in the impeachment trial of Vice President of Clubs and Activities, Ralph Thomas. The appointment was’ passed on the Senate floor 15-0-1 on Tuesday, Mar. 6, 2007.

    The job of prosecuting impeachment, as written in the USG Constitution, belongs to the position of District Advocate, currently filled by Alex Ovtcharenko. Although it is important to note that Ovtcharenko was appointed under a hail of’ corruption charges and ethical inquiry. He was accused by Senator Antonelli of proposing to forge papers that would have more funds allocated to the College Republicans. These funds come directly from our own student activity fees. Senator Shapiro said, ‘if he is willing to stretch his ethics in his own club, maybe the judgment of the nominee isn’t right for this position.’ It was also revealed by Senator Shapiro that the Senator’ who appointed him, Senator Romano, actually lives with him in the house Mr. and Mrs. Ovtcharenko own. It’s safe to estimate the Senator’s feelings on the man he replaced after such a scathing testimony.

    It is Senator Shapiro’s opinion that the Senate should represent itself in court, and not have a member of the executive branch do it for them. Senator Shapiro laid the ground work of his argument, ‘It sets forth in our articles . . . that we are impeaching an officer in the name of our [legislative] body. It is not the executive branch impeaching one of their members.’ He goes on to say, ‘It does say in the Constitution the District Advocate will represent the government in all cases . . . but, what does the government mean’? For all the non-political science majors out there, government does not mean all three branches in a parliamentary system, it includes only the executive branch which executes policies, as Shapiro will later state. The District Advocate works for only the executive branch, ipso facto the Senate has the right to appoint its own council.

    The Senate shared the opinion of Senator Shapiro. Senator Jonathan Hirst said, ‘I don’t think we should appoint the District Advocate as our special prosecutor . . . if he had any interest he could have come to tonight’s meeting . . . I think Senator Shapiro should be our Special Prosecutor.’

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