Student Government’s Impact Party chose to continue supporting one of its candidates despite learning about his prior criminal charges after questions from The Alligator on Tuesday.
At first, Impact President Omarley Spence said the party would stop supporting Charles McMillan, its 20-year-old Public Health & Health Professions candidate. However, after Supervisor of Elections Erica Baker said McMillan could not be removed from the ballot because absentee ballots were mailed already, Spence said the party would still provide resources to McMillan during the election.
The party didn’t run an initial background check on McMillan, Spence said.
“I feel like we didn’t need to do that because of his service, and the service he’s done on campus and the community,” he said.
McMillan, a UF health science and pre-occupational therapy junior, was charged for possessing a fake driver’s license in Fall 2015, according to a sworn complaint. The felony charge was downgraded to a misdemeanor, and prosecution was deferred, according to court records.
McMillan was arrested twice for stealing signs on campus during his sophomore year, according to sworn complaints. Charges were dropped before trial in both cases.
McMillan said he’s tried to improve his life through SG and Dance Marathon.
“I take responsibility for this incident,” McMillan said. “My charges have been dropped, and I have learned from this. I don’t want this to be my main focus here at my time in UF.”