The Michigan Student Assembly representative charged with a felony in connection with a computer attack during the 2006 MSA election is expected to step down as chair of an influential committee tonight but likely won’t resign from the assembly.

In a viewpoint published on the opinion page of today’s edition of The Michigan Daily, MSA President Zack Yost announced that Anton Vuljaj will be stepping down from his role as Budget Priorities Committee chair.

Vuljaj is facing a felony charge of using a computer to commit a crime – which carries penalties of up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine – and the high court misdemeanor charge of interference with an electronic device, which carries a penalty of up to two years in prison and a $1,000 fine.

The BPC is one of the most powerful bodies on the assembly. It reviews proposals for student group funding and dictates how much funding each group receives.

BPC Vice Chair Stella Binkevich said the committee wouldn’t miss a beat due to the resignation.

“As someone that has two years worth of experience on the Budget Priorities Committee, I have no doubt that the committee will continue to be efficient, fair and fiscally responsible in what we do,” she said.

Vuljaj will be stepping down to take personal time to deal with the personal issues, Yost said in the viewpoint.

Vuljaj’s empty position will be filled by an election held at tonight’s MSA meeting, Yost said.

The charges against Vuljaj stem from attacks on the Michigan Progressive Party’s website during the March 2006 election.

Vuljaj and Engineering senior Joel Alan Schweitzer, who faces the same charges as Vuljaj, have preliminary hearings for their cases scheduled for tomorrow.

Several MSA representatives contacted yesterday refused to comment on the Vuljaj trial, many said they didn’t have enough information to form an opinion.

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