A Student Council freshman representative has filed a complaint with Student Judiciary alleging four ASM leaders violated bylaws by accepting salary increases they initially voted for.
Student Council Rep. Max Love filed a complaint against Student Council Chair Tyler Junger, Student Services Finance Committee Chair Brandon William, SC Vice Chair Tom Templeton and SC Secretary Kurt Gosselin.
The complaint said the four ASM members are allegedly in violation of a bylaw that says a member of ASM cannot take any stipend increase if the stipend for the position was raised more than 15 percent for that year.
Junger and Williams voted on stipend increases for the positions they filled this year during their term last year as members of SSFC, leading to Love’s allegation they violated the bylaw.
Templeton sat on Student Council, and while he abstained from the vote for the ASM budget for 2009-10 with the stipend increases, the fact he sat on the council implicates him, the complaint said.
Love also said while Gosselin did not vote on an increase, he was a member of a body which approved an increase which he took as Secretary this year.
Although the complaint alleges each of these cases violates ASM bylaws, an exemption was passed in 2009 to allow current members of SSFC to take an increase. However, the exemption was not applied to a similar bylaw, stating any member voting on an increase may not receive that increase, which still exists in the books.
According to the complaint, the exemption was passed not to allow members of SSFC to take the increases they voted for, but to allow for a $20 per meeting stipend for SSFC members starting 2009-10.
Because there is not an exemption explicitly covering the stipends Junger and Williams received, they may be in violation of this bylaw.
SSFC Legal Counsel and ASM Secretary Kurt Gosselin said the spirit of the first exemption is clear and missing the second bylaw in the draft of the exemption should be counted as an oversight.
However, Junger and Gosselin are not current members of SSFC, which could technically mean the exemption does not apply to them and that they are in violation of the bylaws.
Gosselin pointed to Wisconsin State Law 105.02 to defend them, which states a government cannot give its employee a false statement of employment.
When Student Council approved the job descriptions of the chair Sept. 16, 2009, it gave him an official statement as to what they would be receiving in their position. Gosselin said invoking the other bylaws to change the stipend would be in violation of the state law.
The complaint calls for an SJ hearing to decide on proper action, which may result in impeachment. The date of the SJ hearing has yet to be determined.
“The problem is the bylaws covering the exemptions are written poorly. I don’t want to be in violation,” Junger said.
Love said he originally planned to finish his investigation and bring the complaint to SJ after the currently underway elections so he did not smear any candidates’ campaigns, but later decided to move forward with the allegations earlier.
While current Student Council candidate Tina Trevino-Murphy said she did not help Love draft the complaint, she did help with interpretations of the bylaws.
Trevino-Murphy stressed the complaint had nothing to do with the Madison People for Wisconsin Education Rights campaign.
“It is bullshit this isn’t coming from MPOWER. It is well timed and well played,” Gosselin said, speaking not as legal counsel, but as a student.