Censured ECU trustee Robert Moore resigns

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) Censured East Carolina University trustee Robert Moore has resigned.

Moore’s resignation letter was handed in on Monday and addressed to the NC House of Representatives.

In his letter Moore stated:

“East Carolina has many challenges ahead in enrollment, finances, and employee retention but none that cannot overcome with dedicated, committed leadership. When I agreed to accept an appointment to East Carolina Board of Trustees it was with the understanding that I had a dedication to my family and businesses that would dictate the time that I could spend as a Trustee. The events over the last month have given me the opportunity to reflect on that and I have decided I will be resigning from my position as a trustee, effective immediately. This does not in any way change my passion and desire for all things ECU. I am forever a loyal and dedicated PIRATE.”

More served on the board for eight months.

Previously, WUNC Public Radio said that Phil Lewis offered to step down at a UNC Board of Governors meeting and the board accepted his resignation.

Lewis and a fellow trustee Moore were accused of trying to influence a run for student body president at ECU.

The two trustees allegedly offered money and student information to the student body president.

Lewis and Moore later wrote a letter to the UNC Board of Governors, regretting their actions.

University of North Carolina Board of Governors Member David Powers, Chair of Governance Committee, issued the following statement:

“During the next Board of Governors meetings scheduled for later this month, the Governance Committee will conduct a review of Board policy on self-governance, including the potential discipline of board members. The committee plans to begin reviewing the Board’s policy on sanctions of the Board of Trustee members, including procedures for how to request actions be taken by the Board. I will also form a working group, in consultation with the Board of Governors Chair Randy Ramsey, composed of student body presidents, chancellors and members of the Board of Trustees and Board of Governors to review student election procedures and ensure adequate anti-tampering procedures are in place.”   

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The East Carolina University faculty senate is calling for the removal of two university trustees, Phil Lewis and Robert Moore.

At a meeting Wednesday afternoon, the UNC Governance Committee decided to recommend no action against the trustees.

A UNC spokesman said the committee feels the complaints did not warrant significant action.

Members believe this is the best decision for the ECU community, and the Pirate Nation. 

The committee questioned Lewis and Moore.

They’re accused of meddling in the upcoming ECU student body election.

The men allegedly encouraged a student to run for student body president and offered the would-be candidate money and access to student information.  

Those actions are troubling to ECU faculty leaders. 

“Faculty are concerned about this matter and the actions that are described in the public transcript are very troubling and I think our view as officers is that a case can be made that those actions are not in keeping with the expectations for ethical board conduct,” said Jeff Popke, Faculty Senate chair.

Moore and Lewis wrote letters, regretting their actions to the UNC governance committee. 

The UNC system released those letters and a transcript of the conversation between the trustees and the unidentified student.   

Lewis and Moore met with that student on January 13th. They said, if elected, the student would join them and other trustees for a seven-member majority vote to advance their objectives including electing a new board of trustees chair.   

ECU student body elections are scheduled for February 19th through 21st.   

Board of governors vote on this matter Friday at 10 am in chapel hill. 

We will continue to follow this investigation and keep you updated. 

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Two East Carolina University trustees who tried to influence a student election said in a letter that they regret that their actions.

Trustees Phil Lewis and Robbie Moore said in a January 24 letter to a University of North Carolina board member that they had the “best intentions” when they recruited a student to run for president of ECU student government.

The trustees wrote that “we realize we have a responsibility to act in the very best interests of the University at all times.”

“We also realize that we have a responsibility to the UNC Board of Governors, as the governing body of the University of North Carolina system, to conduct our affairs in an honorable and transparent manner. It is with sincere regret that we acknowledge out actions have misrepresented this obligation,” the letter stated.

The letter was addressed to David Powers, chairman of the university governance committee of the UNC Board of Governors.

UNC released the letter and other records in response to a freedom of information request filed by The Associated Press and other media.

Included in the records was a recording made when Lewis and Moore approached the student and a transcript of the recording. The student’s comments were edited out of the 56-page transcript.

The transcript shows Moore and Lewis telling the student they would provide funds and other assistance for a campaign for Student Government Association president. The election is scheduled for Feb. 19-21.

At one point, Lewis said he would connect the student with Angela Moss, a newly appointed trustee who was ECU’s SGA president in 1999, the Daily Reflector of Greenville reported.

“I can line that up and you can talk to her by phone or she’ll come down here. And, and, confidentially, as long as you don’t have to show where you get the money — I mean, we have no problem — I don’t have any problems supporting you,” Lewis said.

The men also discussed a 7-6 vote in July when Vern Davenport was elected chairman over Moss. The current SGA representative, Colin Johnson, voted with the majority. Moore and Lewis supported Moss.

Moore told the student that Johnson had pledged to vote for Moss but then changed his mind, resulting in a victory for Davenport.

Board members Davenport, Fielding Miller, and Vince Smith, sent a complaint on Jan. 18 to the full board about the conversation. They asked the board to review the matter and take action if it found the men violated UNC policy governing the ethics of university trustees.

The trustees’ actions came to light Jan. 25 when the student government board for the UNC system called for an investigation into the actions of Lewis and Moore.

The governance committee is expected to consider the complaints when the board meets Feb. 20-21.

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GRENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) Two members of the East Carolina University Board of Trustees have been accused of violation of the University of North Carolina System Policy. 

These trustees face expulsion after allegations of funding an SGA campaign.

The ECU Board of Trustees letter alleges that board members met with an ECU student to encourage the student to run for student body president.

The General Assembly of the UNC Association of Student Governments released a resolution entitled, “Student Leadership and Shared Governance Support Act,” that states, “The Chair of the UNC Board of Governors Committee on University Governance received a letter from the leadership of the East Carolina University Board of Trustees on January 18, 2020, to share that they believed that two members of the ECU Board of Trustees had violated UNC System Policy 200.7.”

The two trustees allegedly offered financial support to the student’s potential campaign. 

Dr. Ron Mitchelson, Interim Chancellor of ECU, released the following statement:

“Administrators at East Carolina University are aware of claims registered with the UNC Board of Governors regarding governance issues involving the ECU Board of Trustees. Through the UNC Board of Governors process, those claims have been directed to the Governance Committee, which is responsible for any investigation.”

The two trustees also allegedly offer to use their positions to obtain student information that could be used to the student’s potential campaign.

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