By Reubin Turner
Two student senators filed a lawsuit this week in Student Court against Katy junior Lawren Kinghorn, internal vice president.
The lawsuit alleges Kinghorn has failed to uphold her duties as president of the Student Senate and violated obligations required of her as president of the Student Senate, internal vice president and president of the Senate Executive Council.
Woodinville, Wash., senior Gannon McCahill and San Antonio junior Chase Hardy are the plaintiffs for the case who said they are tired of sitting idly by while Kinghorn damages the morale of student government.
“She has been unprofessional with her actions, and these actions have undermined the purpose of student government,” Hardy said.
According to the lawsuit, Kinghorn is being sued because of her disregard to adhere to rules outlined in the bylaws.
The lawsuit claims that last semester, after McCahill was notified that he could face impeachment for violating an attendance policy, he contacted Kinghorn to alert her of an error regarding absences.
Once Kinghorn acknowledged the error, she scheduled an emergency meeting for the SEC to re-vote on whether or not to bring McCahill before the Senate for impeachment.
McCahill asked Kinghorn to move the meeting for the re-vote, because he could not attend, and wanted to be present to present his arguments.
Hardy said when McCahill asked Kinghorn to reschedule the hearing, she informed him the impeachment proceedings would continue, because she felt the “clerical error” would not have an impact on the SEC’s judgment.
“McCahill’s name was tarnished across campus because of a mistake Kinghorn wouldn’t correct,” Hardy said. Hardy this unilateral act by Kinghorn helped prompt the lawsuit.
McCahill said if the re-vote had taken place, he likely would not have been voted by the SEC to be brought before the Senate for impeachment, because his violations of the bylaws were not as severe with the correction, and other senators with similar offenses were voted by the SEC to not be impeached.
When McCahill was brought before the Senate, they chose not to impeach him, as previously reported by the Lariat.
In addition to choosing not to allow a re-vote, Hardy said Kinghorn’s blatant disregard for the rules also prompted for the lawsuit.
During the meeting McCahill was to be brought before the Senate to vote on whether or not he would be impeached, McCahill said he was not allowed to vote on any issue prior to his impeachment vote, nor was he recognized during the roll call.
Hardy said Kinghorn referenced Robert’s Rules of Order as the reason for him not being recognized during the proceeding, saying he was not in good standing. Hardy said this is not found in the parliamentary guide.
“It’s quite obvious she is cherry-picking,” Hardy said. Hardy was referencing the fact that another member was recognized during the meeting, but was by Kinghorn’s standards, not in good standing because he too was being brought before the Senate for impeachment. Hardy said he believes this stems from Kinghorn’s contempt for McCahill’s ideas regarding gun safety.
“We feel as though something has to be done,” Hardy said.
At the time of publication, Kinghorn declined to comment.