Update(s) on Ayala Case [UPDATED 4/8]
UPDATED: Click the “More” link below for the most recent updates. This post is getting a little long.
I’ll leave the first post intact and use this one for ongoing updates. Read it first if you don’t know what’s going on with Chris Ayala, the former Boca treasurer.
Someone — apparently not Ayala, but through his Facebook account — posted the following just before 5 p.m. today:
For those of you who have sent INBOX messages, called and im’d Chris about this WHOLE screwed up situation. I will be more than happy to explain everything to you tonight. Text me your number 305.300.1664 and I will call you back. I am trying to setup something to meet everyone, somewhere and explain to you everything I know!
I did text this person and have had a few weird texts back and forth — it’s not clear how much the person knows or is willing to say at this point, or the person’s relation to Ayala, but I’ll continue to pursue it. I haven’t heard back since I explained what the UP is and that I’m a reporter. And that Facebook message (as of 10 p.m.) has been removed.
Ayala’s Facebook profile picture has also been changed from one with him shirtless and with his arms around two scantily-clad girls to one of him in a suit and tie. The photo’s also been deleted; wish I’d had the foresight to take a screenshot.
Here’s what SG Adviser Rivka Felsher had to say.
On how she found out about it: “Students were already buzzing about it. So it was like, ‘Did you see the news?’ And I was like, ‘I’ll take 5 minutes and look.’ And then I was like, ‘Oh, crap.’ I was really, um, surprised.”
And on how she felt about it: “I was, I guess, disappointed and saddened by it, but at the same time I’m right now taking it with a grain of salt. It was a very short article and didn’t have a lot of information. I have no facts about the incident at all, so all I can do is wait and see how things unfold.”
And here’s Boca House rep Jared Stark:
“I know Chris, and he’s a decent guy from what I can tell, but I don’t know him that well,” says Stark. “I have no idea other than what I’ve heard. Obviously it’s a pretty despicable thing if it’s true, but I don’t really know the details and don’t want to comment on that. I just really hope it’s not true.”
Boca Governor Tiffany Weimar was also willing to comment as far as she could, mostly on her working relationship with Ayala:
“As far as his position, he’s done a great job, he really has. We had an event today he’s been working really hard on, tirelessly, and he’s been really amazing,” says Weimar. “As far as everything else goes, it’s really just, pending investigation, I’m not really sure. As far as his personal stuff, whether it’s bad decisions or whatever, I don’t know. It’s disappointing to me and it’s upsetting because he’s a really great guy. We’ll see what happens, how it pans out.”
And as of 11 p.m. most of Ayala’s profile information has been removed. Including the Looking For (i.e., friendships, relationships, etc. for those not Facebook-savvy) and Interested In (i.e., sexual orientation) fields, but also his likes, dislikes, religious views, etc.
I’m not sure how this helps him. In fact, it just looks really sketchy to me. But again, it’s not Ayala doing this — it’s some mystery person with some mystery relationship to Ayala with his account information. Ayala’s currently sitting in a Palm Beach County jail.
That’s it for tonight. I’ll call about the full police report in the morning.
A couple updates this morning. Most importantly is the fact Ayala has a previous record. You can see here that he was booked in Sept. 2007 for a battery charge. I don’t know the circumstances surrounding this, either, but that police report will probably be easier to get than the current one.
It seems nobody’s paid Ayala’s bond and he’s still sitting in jail as of 10 a.m. this morning. Someone would have to cough up $4500 for that; apparently nobody has. The UP is planning to try to visit him tomorrow if he’s still in. If he wants to talk to us, we’ll get his side of the story.
Also, the Boca House gave an oblique statement about the Ayala case on their Facebook group:
On light of recent news that was released today in the press, FAU SGA was mentioned. If you are unaware of the topic- that is a good thing, it is not positive news. If you are aware, I speak on behalf of all FAU SGA in saying that we do not condone that behavior, and we wish all parties involved the best in the coming weeks.
Yeah, that’s it. But they did get up last week’s meeting minutes, which is what I’d be posting about if this situation hadn’t come up. And on that note, if you’re wondering about the governor races in the midst of this, the election board dismissed the complaints from the Jupiter candidates yesterday. No word on if they’re appealing to the student court as happened in the presidential race. If so, I suppose this could drag the election out the rest of the semester.
I would advise my previous commenter(s) to be aware that Ayala is not considered a sex offender at this point. He’s been charged, not convicted. This case is just getting started and there won’t even be a court hearing until May 4. Please don’t spread rumors. You’re entitled to your opinion, but I hope you’ll have a fair and respectful one.
If you know or have worked with Ayala and would like to comment on the record, e-mail me. I may not get to you today because I have a paper to finish writing, but this is something we’ll be covering in next week’s issue and in weeks to come.