The Florida Federation of College Republicans appear on the verge of an impeachment trial of a chair for the first time.
Leaders for FFCR revealed to Florida Politics last month that impeachment proceedings were underway for Chair Daniel Weldon.
Now, a trial has been scheduled the weekend of Sept. 13-14 in Miami, suggesting Weldon was, in fact, impeached.
Three state officials for the organization resigned over Weldon’s alleged favoritism, dishonesty and verbal abuse.
That came amid concerns of the veracity of claims by Weldon that he was attacked in Gainesville for wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ ball cap at a local restaurant; that story drew national attention, including a segment on Fox Business.
FFCR’s constitution allows impeachment charges to be brought by a petition with signatures of no less than two-thirds of state board members. It also allows the accused individual to respond to accusations in writing, which Weldon has reportedly done.
There has never been an impeachment trial for a state chair in the organization’s history, members said. That has left officials scrambling to organize a trial that complies with bylaws.
The constitution allows for both the accusing party and the individual facing impeachment to make 30-minute presentations at a special meeting. Then the state board renders a final decision.
Those attending the meeting will be able to vote to convict or acquit Weldon. Weldon has been suspended as state chair while this process plays out, but if state board members ultimately vote to acquit him he will be reinstated immediately.
It will take a two-thirds vote at the state board to remove Weldon, but again, that’s also the requirement with petition signatures to launch impeachment proceedings.
If convicted, Weldon will have rights as chair stripped permanently, and the constitution also says he will not be able to hold a constitutional office in the organization in the future.
Weldon, for what it’s worth, has also made headline for other reasons.
A case he and fellow University of Florida activist Sarah Long brought against their school was settled out of court. Young America’s Foundation announced the school will pay $66,000 to conservative students who claimed the school wrongly denied them access and changed its free speech code.
The fact Weldon’s accusers come from other state boards has itself created complications.
Secretary Jordan Foster would normally fill in for Weldon in this circumstance, but she is among the key accusers in the impeachment.
Right now, Sara DeMarco – chair of the University of North Florida College Republicans – is acting as chair for the statewide group in certain capacities, such as leading a phone call this week about the coming trial. DeMarco serves as comptroller on the executive committee.