SGA President Anthony Jankoski and Vice President Daniel Amsini were found not guilty following their impeachment trial on Monday, Oct. 19.
SGA senators voted 9-2 by secret ballot in favor of a not guilty verdict. Jankoski and Amsini were brought to trial on the grounds that they allegedly violated rule 10 of the UMBC SGA Election Rules set by the Election Board. Rule 10 states that students may not be “harassed, badgered, or intimidated by candidates or their supporters.” Rule 10 also forbids campaigns from providing electronic equipment for voting purposes and interfering with or being within ten feet of a student while they are voting.
SGA Senator Josh Massey chaired the impeachment proceedings in place of Speaker Andres Garcia, who had stepped down from the position due to accusations of bias. Bulawoe Akwakoku served as trial manager, and Vincent Jankoski, Anthony Jankoski’s father, served as Anthony Jankoski and Amsini’s legal representative.
Senators Seth Benefield, Oladipupo Eke, Andres Garcia, Sarah Lilly, Andrew Lopez, Josh Massey, Brooke Perrin, Markya Reed, William Rice, Augustus Williams and Pandora Wilson were present during the trial and voted.
Vincent Jankoski initially moved to have the trial dismissed on the grounds that impeachment for acts performed before officials have taken office is unlawful according to Maryland state law. He also recommended that Senator Lilly be barred from voting in the trial due to current legal issues.
The senate voted 8 to 3 against dismissing the trial, and they did not vote on dismissing Senator Lilly.
During the trial, both sides presented witnesses and physical evidence. Ashley Waters, an administrator from The Universities at Shady Grove, served as a witness along with UMBC students Amsini, Bryan England, Albert Ennison, Anthony Jankoski and Marc Szczepaniak.
Vincent Jankoski presented Anthony Jankoski’s cell phone records from Verizon, and Akwakoku presented emails from witnesses of the alleged misconduct to UMBC administrators.
During his testimony, England said that he did in fact go to UMBC’s Shady Grove campus to solicit votes with Michael Jankoski, Anthony Jankoski’s younger brother. England said that going to Shady Grove was his idea and that he did not discuss using electronic devices to solicit votes with Anthony Jankoski until after the fact.
After the trial, Anthony Jankoski said, “I’m still waiting for my apology from the school, from our institutions and from our administrators. Furthermore, I think that the Election Board also owes me and Daniel an apology, and I think that this is a lot of work to be done in terms of making things right.”
Amsini said, “I feel like first of all, when you’re talking about impeachment, it’s talking about something that you did when you are during your term … Like everything that you did before your term … is not related to impeachment. So first of all, this process should never have happened.”