SG senator resigns after ticket resale investigation

A new senator will be joining Student Government following the resignation of Sen. Blake Burnett last week.

Burnett, who was involved in a ticket resale controversy last semester, sent an e-mail to Senate President Tyler Montell on Thursday resigning as a senator at-large and a member of the Committee on Committees.

In the e-mail, Burnett said he wanted to focus more on his future since he is graduating in May.

“I feel other commitments would keep me from serving SG and the Student Body to my fullest potential,” Burnett said in the e-mail. “It is with some regrets and positive memories from my time in SG that I am resigning from my position…”

Burnett said he hopes his time in SG will be seen positively. He did not return the Kernel’s phone calls or e-mail yesterday.

Montell said it is possible that Burnett’s decision to resign had something to do with the Impeachment and Censure Committee’s resolution, which found that Burnett and Sen. Jesse Parrish violated SG’s ethics codes. The resolution will be presented to the full Senate at tomorrow’s meeting.

The resolution was written in response to the ethics investigation of Burnett and Parrish’s reselling of tickets for profit to an SG-sponsored concert in September. The SG Ethics Commission, which investigated the incident, found that Burnett committed perjury and resold concert tickets for a price more than face value.

“It could be a strange coincidence, but I think (his resignation) has to have something to do with what happened,” Montell said.

Sen. Jackie Colgate, a member of the committee that wrote the resolution, said Burnett’s resignation might be an effort to put an end to the controversy.

“I’m sure Blake didn’t want to put up with public embarrassment anymore,” Colgate said. “Blake’s a great guy, he just made a mistake.”

Even though Burnett resigned, Colgate said the resolution on the ethics codes violations will still go to the full Senate tomorrow.

“SG needs to set a precedent saying unethical behavior will not be tolerated, even if Blake has resigned,” Colgate said. “Students need to know where senators stand on ethical behavior, because (senators) are dealing with student fees and students’ best interests.”

Montell agreed, and said the resolution on the investigation is still important, even after Burnett resigned from the Senate and after Parrish resigned last month as chairman of the Appropriations and Revenue Committee.

“This is not a disciplinary action toward Blake and Jesse,” Montell said. “This is a stand by SG on what we think is unethical. If you are a student leader at this university, you are going to be held to a higher standard.”

Burnett’s senate seat will be filled by the candidate who came in 16th in last year’s election, Kevin Meadows. He will be sworn in tomorrow at the full Senate meeting.