The ASUN Judicial Council found President Pereira guilty of lying about his membership in the secret society Coffin and Keys during the presidential debate of the election. They have further recommended him for impeachment to the ASUN Senate on the grounds of “malfeasance in office” and “a conflict of interest.” The opinion written by the Judicial Council reveals that an email was accidently sent to Attorney General Steven Kish disclosing Pereira’s membership in Coffin and Keys, a secret society at UNR with vague operating goals (a short history can be found here). Pereira had denied being a member of the society when directly asked during the presidential debates. Kish reported being approached by Pereira and Steve Bezick (former senator and thought to be Pereira’s choice for Chief of Staff) in the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house and “intimidated” to delete the email.
Video of the 2014 ASUN Presidential Debate
The Judicial Council majority vote found Pereira to have failed his obligation to transparency and ran in the election under false pretenses. Along with his previous campaign infractions, the Judicial Council felt this merited an impeachment charge in the ASUN Senate. According to this article by the Reno Gazette Journal, the Senate will meet on May 7th to vote on impeachment of the new President, with a trial to be held on May 14th if the impeachment carries. There were two dissenting opinions on the Judicial Council, disputing the report by the majority opinion that Kish stated he was personally intimidated and that the Coffin and Keys organization itself had no relevance to the decision. The Judicial council has previously suspended Pereira’s Attorney General and Justice appointments leading up to this ruling, followed by the suspension of all other appointments.
Today both President Pereira and Vice President Alex Bybee released letters of apology and assurance of integrity through the ASUN twitter account. Both are included below.
I would assume that denial of membership would be required by a secret society such as Coffin and Keys, however Pereira has yet to comment on why he lied about his involvement. I would also be curious to know what makes Coffin and Keys worth lying for to the student body.