Bonus Money

Extra $10K Given to CEO and Deputies After 2011 Election

During a “preliminary meeting” of the Judicial Board on the morning of Oct. 28, it was revealed the former Chief Electoral Officer and three Deputy Electoral Officers received $10,000 in bonus money to attend JB meetings at the close of last year’s election.

According to documents obtained by the Concordia Student Union VP Finance, a total of $22,000 was spent on election and referendum honorariums last year, while the March election went $25,000 over budget.

The documents suggest former CEO Oliver Cohen was remunerated $5,500 in bonuses for attending the two JB meetings—which took place after he disqualified both Action and Your Concordia candidates in April—and gave the three DEO’s $1,500 each.

In an email interview, former CSU President Heather Lucas, who along with former VP Finance Ramy Khoriarty, signed off on the bonuses, said she was unaware of Cohen’s overspending, and that if she had she “would have brought that to the attention of Council immediately.”

At the Friday meeting, Concordia Student Broadcasting Corporation Board member and former CSU President Sabine Friesinger, who was there with CUTV, confronted current CEO Bram Goldstein, who served as a DEO last year.

“I was informed that there was some kind of payment made to the party in question, that had to do with the JB and I was wondering if you could respond to that,” said Friesinger.
“I don’t know anything about that,” replied Goldstein, who was hired on as CEO by last year’s council and is currently an ‘Interested Party’ in an appeal that questions the legitimacy of his appointment.

Goldstein maintained Cohen didn’t pay him to show up at the meeting, but used it to validate his bonus.

“[Cohen] told me it might be a good idea to show up and see how things are run if I ever wanted to run for CEO,” Goldstein explained. “I showed up, sat in the corner, kept my mouth shut and he listed it as one of the reasons why I was there. It was just a point as to validate a bonus. That’s all it was.”

What followed was a heated exchange between CUTV and Goldstein that has since been uploaded to the CUTV website.

The meeting ended with Goldstein asking to be shown a record or receipt indicating he was paid for attending the JB meeting, and CSU VP Outreach Morgan Pudwell showing him the budget line in her office.

While no rules were officially broken—at the time CEOs were allowed to establish their own remuneration scale—any CSU expenditure over $5,000 must go through the Financial Committee.

According to the financial documents, Lucas and Khoriaty signed off on the bonuses.

“Oliver wasn’t paid a bonus specifically just for attending the JB meetings, but for the job as a whole,” said Lucas. “I followed what was done the previous year as the precedent was set in regards to the bonuses given, which are decided by the CEO.”

After numerous attempts, Cohen has not responded to The Link’s interview request.

Stay tuned for updates online this week.