A statement Monday from former Student Judiciary General Counsel Jacob Gardner revealed an anonymous SJ official quietly resigned earlier this year after being reported for making anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks in the Associated Students of Madison office.
Gardner’s statement comes a week after he resigned from his position as SJ General Counsel. In his resignation letter, he said “issues of ethics” were a concern for him in the current session.
Gardner identified two incidents — open discussion of impartial cases and the sharing of bigoted remarks — as the main reasons for his concerns involving SJ ethics. While Gardner’s resignation letter did not elaborate further on the specifics of these incidents, a statement sent to The Badger Herald Monday provided further detail.
ASM Student Judiciary General Counsel resigns, critiquing ‘issue of ethics’ in current sessionIn a letter Monday, Associated Students of Madison Student Judiciary General Counsel Jacob Gardner announced he will be resigning his Read…
According to his statement, the bigoted remarks Gardner cited came from a single individual and were anti-Semitic and homophobic in nature. These comments were allegedly made in the ASM office.
“Some of the students within the ASM office had anonymously reported anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks being made by a member of SJ while in the ASM office,” Gardner said. “They reported the comments were done in the ‘joking’ and ‘bro-talk’ ways that are sadly all-too normalized in our culture, but were nevertheless inappropriate and stemming from a place of bigotry.”
This individual was reported for his comments by students who overheard them. Gardner said the individual did not face impeachment proceedings because the comments were reported anonymously, leaving no official evidence of the incident.
Gardner said the individual who allegedly made the comments has since resigned from SJ. Out of respect for those who wished to remain anonymous, SJ Chief Justice William Olson did not reveal the identity of the individual or provide further information about the comments.
The other incident Gardner cited involved a member of SJ openly discussing private matters from ongoing SJ cases with individuals in the ASM office and potentially with stakeholders in the case. Rather than undergo a public impeachment proceeding, this individual also resigned from SJ. Olson refused to release further information about this incident and the individual involved.
Olson said both incidents are unacceptable for a member of SJ. While the individuals involved in the incidents disputed the claims against them, both decided to quietly resign rather than face a public impeachment proceeding.
“The members in question strongly disputed the charges,” Olson said. “However, after an internal review process, they chose to resign rather than contest the charges and face a public removal and impeachment process.”
Gardner’s resignation as General Counsel became effective today, a week after he sent out his letter of resignation.
This is a developing story. The Badger Herald will update this post as more information is available.