SG senators may face impeachment

Report claims ethics violations, scalping, perjury from ticket resale

By Katie Saltz

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The Student Government Impeachment and Censure Committee met last night to discuss a possible violation of the SG ethics code by two senators.

A complaint was filed in October by SG Vice-President Brittany Langdon against Sen. Jesse Parrish and Sen. Blake Burnett following a controversy over reselling tickets to a September concert.

“There was a lot of talk about it and I felt the need to step forward,” Langdon said. “This is something we didn’t want coming back at the end of the year.”

An Ethics Commission of 15 non-SG students and the SG Attorney General Beau Baustien created a report after investigating the ticket sales and presented it to the committee last night. The committee is responsible for reviewing the report and writing a resolution to present to the Senate for action.

According to the committee’s report, on Sept. 17, Parrish and Burnett bought 198 tickets for the Corey Smith concert at a discounted Greek price of $5 each. The tickets were available to the general public that day for $15 each.

Parrish and Burnett told the Ethics Commission on Nov. 15 that they resold every ticket they purchased at its $15 face value. The report said the senators sold tickets to students at UK, Transylvania University, several high schools and had an advertisement on

On Nov. 26, the commission became aware that eight members of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority bought tickets from Burnett for $25 each. Copies of receipts from personal checks confirmed five of the eight purchases. This sale took place five days before the public could purchase the tickets.

Another member of Theta said Burnett tried to sell her 18 tickets for $25 each, but she negotiated the price down to $12.50 each. The report included the receipt from that purchase, which occurred on Sept 19. Baustien said these receipts not only proved ticket scalping, which is illegal, it also proved perjury for Burnett.

“It’s obvious they knew what they were doing and possibly planned this,” Baustien said. “As far as I’m concerned Jesse told the whole truth in his deposition. Blake committed perjury.”

Parrish and Burnett told the commission they sold 97 of the 198 tickets for $15 each, making a profit of $465. The two senators added the value of the unsold tickets to their profit and donated a total of $970 to the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center, the organization that was to benefit from the concert.

However, because there is evidence proving Burnett sold some tickets for $25, Baustien said there is no way of knowing how much profit Burnett really made.

“Possibly more money was made then was reported,” Baustien said. “This isn’t exact science. We’re students, not CSI, but things can be implied.”

The committee planned to draft a resolution last night after the meeting that will state Parrish and Burnett violated section 106.2 (a) of the SG Ethics Act, which says no SG member should participate in any private or professional activity that would conflict with the best interest of the student body, said Sen. Jackie Colgate.

Parrish and Burnett are SG senators and officers of Interfraternity Council. Since both organizations co-sponsored the concert, Baustien said this showed a conflict of interest for both.

Baustien also said Burnett violated section 106.5 of the act by committing perjury before the Ethics Commission, and recommended that the violation be included in the resolution draft.

The resolution will be presented to the full Senate and then voted on. If the senate feels it is necessary, a motion could be made for impeachment, said Senate President Tyler Montell.

Montell said the Impeachment and Censure committee had a difficult job and he felt they handled it well.

“I was pleased with the open-mindedness of the members,” Montell said. “It’s no secret that three members (of the committee) are in the same fraternity as one of the guys,” Montell said. “But they want to do the right thing for the student body even if it’s uncomfortable for them personally.”