Articles of impeachment filed against Safdari

Elise Foley

Originally posted April 20 4:50 p.m.

Articles of impeachment have been filed against ASG academic director-elect Muhammad Safdari.

The trial could take place as early as Wednesday’s Senate meeting–also the date that Safdari will be sworn in as academic director.

Safdari has come under fire for an e-mail he wrote last week stating his support for ASG President-elect Mike McGee and enumerating problems he had with opponent Bill Pulte’s campaign. The e-mail was forwarded around campus before Friday’s runoff election and was determined libelous by the ASG election commission.

Former ASG parliamentarian and Pulte campaign member Will Upton, a Weinberg senior, filed the impeachment charges Monday.

If the ASG Rules Committee accepts the impeachment documents, senators will debate in a closed session and could remove Safdari from office immediately, said Speaker of the Senate Samir Pendse, a Weinberg junior.

Pendse will preside over the hearing. He said has tried to stay out of the politics of the election to ensure fairness.

“This is an opportunity for students who have this complaint to show their case,” Pendse said. “I don’t want this to be a witch-hunt–I want it to be a fair trial. That’s the precedent I want to set for future impeachments.”

Upton, a member of Pulte’s presidential campaign, said he filed the impeachment charge “as a student first,” then as the former ASG parliamentarian and finally because of his respect for Pulte and his running mate, Patrick Dawson.

He said he feels Safdari will not serve his post as academic director well.

“I really do not believe that someone who did such a thing can adequately represent the students in the eyes of the students and the administration,” Upton said.

Safdari said Monday evening that he “sincerely” regrets what happened with the email, but that he will not step down as academic director.

“Having met with administrators and other leaders on campus, I cannot understand how a leaked personal email can have any bearing on how I can fulfill my position,” the Weinberg junior said. “I will be gaffe-proof for the rest of the year, and you can hold me to that.”

Vice President-elect Tommy Smithburg, a Weinberg junior, said he hopes ASG can move quickly past the impeachment and get back to business.

“We’re here to improve the experience at NU for students,” Smithburg said. “Let’s get this over with and get back to what we’re here to do.”

Check back for more updates.

Additional reporting by Matt Spector.

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Related: ASG Election Committee adds statement to run-off ballot after controversy 4/17/09