By Adam Baker/Editor
Four years after being ousted as Eastern’s Student Government Association president, Chris Pace is now facing charges of tampering with public records at Northern Kentucky University.
Pace, 27, who served as Eastern’s SGA president in 1999 until he was removed in 2000 for not meeting the position’s requirements, held the same title at NKU last year.
In July NKU’s SGA office was broken into, according to a report from NKU police. The office was vandalized, and computer disks, office supplies and documents were stolen. Some items were later recovered from a trash bin on campus.
A warrant was issued for Pace’s arrest on Class D felony charges after interviews with witnesses were conducted by NKU police, according to the report.
Pace was released from custody on the condition he would not return to the NKU SGA office.
At the end of August, the Campbell County Grand Jury indicted Pace on the charge of tampering with public records, stating he “intentionally destroyed, mutilated, concealed, removed or otherwise impaired the availability of public records when he knew that he lacked the authority to do this,” according to a true bill from the Campbell Circuit Court.
Eastern officials ruled Pace ineligible to serve as the SGA president in 2000 because he fell below the status of a full-time student. He was also ordered to repay a $1,800 scholarship that came with the post.
After attending Eastern, Pace enrolled in Chase Law School at NKU. In 2001, he served as a student member on the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.
Aaron Thompson, associate vice president of enrollment management and SGA faculty adviser during Pace’s administration, called Pace an intelligent person who “had a lot of things going for him as far as his ability to politic.”
Thompson said he was surprised to learn of the charges against Pace.
“I don’t know if he’s guilty or innocent, but I’m quite surprised,” he said. “I can’t imagine Chris putting himself in that position of basically destroying his political life since he was so anxious to do great things with it.”
Thompson added he believes the incident will have no affect on Eastern or SGA.
“One of the things we try to do more than anything else is to keep close track on what’s going on with our (SGA officials), and we spend a lot of time doing that,” he said.
Eastern has been lucky, he said, to have “top quality” leaders in SGA.
“At different times, there had been issues that popped up, and at different times we’ve addressed those issues, and we’ve tried to do it on a level that really made sense,” he said. “I like Chris a lot – I hope it’s not true.”
Others at Eastern, however, are remaining tight-lipped about Pace’s charges.
“Since this took place at another institution and it’s still under investigation, we just don’t feel like it would be appropriate for us to make any comment on that,” said Marc Whitt, associate vice president of public relations and marketing.
Lance Melching, current president of Eastern’s SGA, also declined to answer questions.
“I’m afraid I can’t make any comment on that,” he said.
Pace faces arraignment in Campbell County today. His attorney, Marcus D. Gale, did not return messages from The Progress.
Pace also could not be reached for comment.
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