Judicial Board Rules

Standing Regulations Violations Lead to CEO Switch

Photo Adam Kovac

The search for a Chief Electoral Officer continued last week as the Judicial Board—an independent ruling body of the Concordia Student Union—voted unanimously on Nov. 2 that the appointment of the former CEO by last year’s Council was conducted in violation of the standing regulations, and nullified his position.

The ruling was on an appeal filed by former CSU councillor Tomer Shavit, on behalf of last year’s Council.

After successfully appealing on the grounds that proper procedure was not followed when hiring Bram Goldstein last spring, the CSU then appointed Ismail Holoubi to conduct the November byelections, taking place Nov. 29, 30 and Dec. 1.

Despite the ruling and appointment, this may not be the final decision on the matter, as an appeal will be filed with the JB in the next few days.

“You guys should know we will be appealing based on procedure,” Shavit told Council at the Nov. 2 special CSU meeting. “If you guys try to hire a CEO now, you should be informed that this is still under dispute.”
Shavit explained he would be filing a complaint to the JB concerning the hiring process of Holoubi.

“It did not follow due process of the Appointment Committee, […] which is the precedence that has been set by the Judicial Board [after terminating Goldstein],” he said, a reference to his allegation that the AC had not met to discuss the candidates before passing their CVs to Council.

He has until Friday—five days from the written JB decision—to file his appeal.

CSU VP Services Melissa Fuller explained that the Appointments Committee met the night before the Council meeting, where they decided to invite every applicant to come to the special CSU Council meeting on Nov. 2. The committee has the power to vet candidates and decide which ones will be considered by Council.

To “ensure the upcoming election would not be compromised” as they were filing the original appeal, Council moved to simultaneously open a tentative hiring process on Oct. 26, to which 11 applicants applied for the position of CEO.

After over two hours of closed session, Holoubi was chosen to replace Goldstein.

Even if another procedural contestation is filed, the decision of the JB stands until their ruling is potentially overturned, according to JB Chair Cassie Smith.

Shavit also stated that he has proof of “non-verbal communication” between the plaintiffs and the JB during the hearing, and called into question the possibility of collusion and a lack of impartiality on the Board.

He said he expects the JB member to resign, or for council to remove her with two-thirds majority vote after viewing his videotape footage.

Smith admitted she was aware of “the issue of ‘collusion [and bias],’” and said she hasn’t “seen evidence that [Shavit] purports to have. I am waiting for him to submit a formal complaint to Council in this regard.”

It is unclear whether or not this week’s regular CSU council meeting will hear Shavit’s argument, however, as President Lex Gill stated the JB is the appropriate place to submit his complaints concerning impartiality on the Board.

“If he has evidence that could be relevant to his appeal or a hearing, it needs to be presented at the JB,” she said. “It’s not council’s job to remove a JB member, as it is supplemental to his appeal; it should be presented as evidence in that appeal.”

The next council meeting is Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. Stay tuned.