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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    RE: Shapiro and Grogan Should Be Punished

    To the Editor:

    This is a letter of apology to Senator Kyle Grogan for not conducting a thorough investigation into my opinion piece, in which I wrongly wrote that he knew about Executive Vice President Shapiro’s violation and did not share this information with the Senate or the club. I was wrong. After speaking with Grogan, I learned that he did not know about the violation in the first place, nor did the rest of the Executive Board of the College Republicans. According to Grogan, Shapiro had approached him about his potential resignation, but not in the context of the conflict of interests violation. I was completely mistaken in my understanding of these events because my investigation was not thorough and did not involve a direct questioning of either Shapiro or Grogan.

    This aspect of my opinion piece had been based on his letter of resignation where he wrote, “It only came to my attention at the start of this semester that USG law prevents me from being both President of a club and the USG Executive Vice President. My initial desire was to resign from CRs, but Vice President Kyle Grogan informed me that he was not comfortable at that time remaining Vice President by himself. I decided that losing both the president and vice president in the first 2 weeks of the semester would be crippling to the club. Therefore, I decided to stay in my official position while Kyle effectively served as Acting President so that way the club would have continuous leadership. Meanwhile, I expected this accomodation to be temporary because I hoped the Senate would consider a bill that would have allowed me to assume full leadership of the club without conflict with my role as EVP.”

    This aspect of my piece was also based in part on Shapiro’s quote from the original story, “Shapiro Breaks USG Law,” where he is quoted as saying, “No, I didn’t know I was breaking the Financial By-Laws until this semester. At that point I tried to leave the College Republicans, but the members asked me to stay.”

    My understanding of this matter was also informed by Shapiro’s statements at the Oct. 4th meeting of the College Republicans.

    Both of these quotes from these sources, and Shapiro’s statements at the October 4th meeting, led me to the honest belief that Grogan had known about the conflict of interests violation. However, after speaking with him, I now believe that my accusation was false. I should have questioned Grogan and I would have discovered this. Finally, after speaking with President Antonelli, who has also questioned Grogan, he confirmed that Grogan also said to him that he did not know about Shapiro’s violation. As a result I would like to humbly apologize to Grogan for any harm my error has caused him, and for not double-checking the content of my opinion piece for accuracy with the subjects of my investigation.

    Sincerely,

    Robert J. Romano

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