The student government board for the UNC System passed a resolution on Saturday calling for an investigation into allegations that two East Carolina University trustees tried to influence an ECU Student Government Association election.
The resolution from the General Assembly of the UNC Association of Student Governments says that David Powers, chairman of UNC Board of Governors Committee on University Governance, received a letter regarding allegations against Phil Lewis and Robbie Moore on Jan. 18. The letter was from the leadership of the East Carolina University Board of Trustees, the resolution says.
According to the resolution, the letter alleges that Lewis and Moore met with an ECU student to encourage the student to run for the position of student body president. It also alleges they offered financial support to the student’s potential campaign and to use their positions to obtain student information that could be of use to the student’s potential campaign. The resolution indicates that such action would violate UNC System policy.
The resolution then called on the UNC Board of Governors to conduct an expeditious and honest investigation into the matter and promptly remove any university official found to be unduly influencing free and fair elections.
The resolution was sponsored by Assembly President Adam Schmitt and cosponsored by 11 members of the board, including ECU student body president Colin Johnson, who also is a member of the ECU Board of Trustees. Johnson did not comment when reached by email.
The resolution does not indicate whether the election allegedly involved is a past election or the upcoming one.
The SGA member is a voting member on the ECU trustees, and Johnson voted with a slim majority in July to elect Vern Davenport as chairman of the the trustees.
Lewis and Moore were among a minority who voted for Angela Moss.
The Daily Reflector reached Lewis and Moore on Monday afternoon. They declined a request to discuss the allegations but provided the following statement:
“We have been made aware of the allegations and have faith that the University Governance Committee of the UNC Board of Governors will gather all relevant information and facts. We have confidence they will make an appropriate decision.”
The assembly voted 54-0 in favor of the resolution, according to the minutes of the meeting.
The minutes also indicate that a memo and an audio recording were sent to the Board of Governors.
The Daily Reflector is seeking a copy of the Jan. 18 letter, the audio tape or a transcript, and comment from other people involved.
The UNC System did not respond to requests for the material on Monday or return a voice mail seeking further information.