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Candidates file complaint claiming bribery accusation

Student Government presidential candidates hold their last debate before the election Feb. 12. Pictured from left to right: Brooklyn Boreing and Preston Nieves.

Photo by Josh Mends | Staff Photographer

Update: Feb. 15, 5:05 p.m.

The election board will host a hearing regarding the claim, 5 p.m., Feb. 16 in the LBJ Student Center 4-1.9.

Student Government candidates have filed a claim with the election board due to alleged code violations.

Christian Sears, vice presidential candidate for Student Government said he was bribed by Collin Pruett, Brooklyn Boreing’s campaign manager, to leave his running mate, Preston Nieves, and take a position in Boreing’s cabinet.

Text messages allegedly shared between student Collin Pruitt and student Christian Sears. The Star review the messages on Sears’ phone and received the screenshots from Sears.

Sears declined the position.

Sears and Nieves also claim prohibited association has taken place which means, according to election code “Except in cases of a bona fide executive alliance as provided for in this code, no candidate is allowed to contribute financially or provide any other form of tangible or substantive support, including but not limited to campaign materials, to another candidate’s campaign.”

Sears and Nieves are accusing Brooklyn Boreing and her campaign manager, Collin Pruett of bribing Sears by offering him a competitive position in exchange for support in the form of dropping his bid for vice president and offering Boreing his vote.

“Essentially there was a bunch text messages that he got, long story short, the Boreing-Becerra campaign said that if he dropped out of the race and supported them, they would give him a cabinet position,” Nieves said.

Nieves and Sears’ election code violation form states that the Boreing-Becerra campaign violated Chapter 102 Article II of the election code for bribery and Chapter 106 for prohibited affiliation.

Sears said he was approached by Pruett during the first week of February. Sear said he waited to file the claims but waited to tell his running mate because he wanted to see if he would be pressured further.

This week, Sears said he received a screenshot from Alec Garza, current President Connor Clegg’s chief of staff. The screenshot is supposedly an image of a text conversation between Garza and Boreing

Text messages allegedly shared between student Alec Garza and student Christian Sears. The Star review the messages on Sears’ phone and received the screenshots from Sears.

“The screenshot alleges that Boreing stated she offered him a position in return for his dropping out and support.”

Sears said he believes they contacted him because of his conservative values.

“He told me that if and when Brooklyn is elected, she is going to make him her chief of staff,” Sears said. “Because of that, he said Brooklyn was going to let him design her cabinet. My issue is that he made a deal with me to say that if I drop out of my race and turn around, and support Brooklyn Boreing, they are promising me the cabinet position of director of finance.”

Sears said he believes Boreing and Pruett made a deal when they decided to run that if she allowed her cabinet to be made up of conservatives from College Republicans, that Boreing would receive their endorsements.

Sears said he is under the impression that he was approached by Pruett in an effort to harm Nieves’ campaign and increase the number of conservative students on Boreing’s cabinet.

“No, there was no bribery that took place,” Pruett said. “I said if you ever do drop. It was never quid pro quo, but I said if you ever do drop you are welcome to support, we’re actually looking for cabinet members, I think you’re qualified.”

In regards to the screenshots, Pruett said that Boreing either misunderstood what was going on, or was just unaware.

According to Election Board Chairman Taylor Brimer and the election code rules, once a grievance is filed, the election board has two days to make a decision on whether or not a trial will take place.

This story was written by Katie Burrell and Jakob Rodriguez.


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