Gov. Rick Scott asks FAMU to suspend president amid hazing investigationby Dara Kam | December 15th, 2011
Gov. Rick Scott is asking the Florida A & M University board of trustees to suspend the historically black college’s president James Ammons at its Monday meeting.
The request comes after Scott, who returned from a trip to Israel today, was briefed by his aides on the latest investigations into the death of FAMU Marching “100″ band drum major Robert Champion, according to a press release issued by Scott’s office. Scott spoke with FAMU board of trustees chairman Solomon Badger, asking him to suspend Ammons.
“Governor Scott has strongly recommended to Chairman Badger that at the meeting, the Board of Trustees place FAMU President James Ammons on suspension, effective immediately, until the investigations at the University are completed. Governor Scott has also placed a call to FAMU President Ammons to personally notify him of these discussions,” the release reads.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, tapped by Scott to investigate Champion’s death and the FAMU administration’s knowledge of hazing practices at the campus, this week announced it was opening a separate criminal investigation into possible fraud or misconduct by university employees.
The trustees voted last week to publicly reprimand Ammons instead of suspending him.
Champion’s death has cast an unwanted spotlight on hazing practices at the university and elsewhere.
The Tallahassee police this week charged three Marching “100″ band members with battery and hazing for allegedly beating fellow band member Bria Shante Hunter.
The DeKalb County school system in Georgia on Wednesday suspended its high school marching band activities. Champion, Hunter and two of the three men arrested and charged with her hazing, all attended high school in the county.