FLORIDA — Theculprit behind the dumping of 268 student newspapers at the University ofFlorida came forward Monday, confirming the newspaper’s earlier reporting thata student politician threw them out.
Jason Tiemeier, former student government president protempore, wrote the front-page guest editorial for Monday’s issue of The IndependentFlorida Alligator, the same newspaper he was seen discarding Feb. 20.
“I wrote this column because I would like to apologize formy actions three weeks ago,” Tiemeier wrote. “Disposing of newspapers is notonly wrong, but it is unfair to the Student Body and the Alligator staff thatworks so hard to write them every day.”
AlligatorEditor-in-Chief Joey Flechas said Tiemeier came clean about his involvement inearly March. The two of them decided together that an editorial would be thebest resolution.
Flechas said the Alligatoris not interesting in pressing charges. University spokeswoman Janine Sikessaid the university is not pursuing disciplinary action as a result. Flechasalso said Tiemeier would not be reimbursing the paper.
Tiemeier refused to comment when contacted.
The Alligatorreported that two witnesses saw Tiemeier and Katie Waldman, both members ofUF’s Unite Party, discarding the newspapers on the eve of student governmentelections. A Unite Party anonymous source confirmed the eyewitness accounts tothe newspaper.
Tiemeier previously told the Alligator he was sleeping when the incident occurred.
Unite Party spokeswoman Christina Bonarrigo defendedTiemeier and accused the Alligator offabrication when the accusations first surfaced. Tiemeier told her he was notinvolved; Bonarrigo said she had no reason to mistrust him.
The Alligator rana front-page story that day about head coach Will Muschamp’s public endorsement of fullback JesseSchmidt’s candidacy for student government vice president. Schmidt ran with theStudents Party, which opposes the Unite Party.
Tiemeier is no longer a member of the Unite Party, Bonarrigosaid, but she was unsure if that was a result of the newspaper theft. Tiemeierwas not running for office in this election.
In addition to writing the editorial, Flechas said Tiemeierapologized to the Alligator during astaff meeting. Flechas said the staff appreciated his honesty and willingnessto come forward.
“He felt like he wanted to put it to rest,” Flechas added.