New Wave members drop complaint against Williams

    Accusations by former New Wave slate members against Jessica Williams, the 2001-2002 A.S. elections manager, were dropped during a brief A.S. judicial board hearing May 3. Williams was able to finish the final hour of her term, which ended that day at 4 p.m.

    Garo Bournoutain, former New Wave candidate for A.S. vice president finance, filed the complaint on behalf of New Wave on April 12, claiming Williams had been biased against the slate during the campaign and election period.

    The slate chose to withdraw the complaint due to an apparent miscommunication between New Wave and the judicial board. Slate members thought Friday’s session was a joint hearing where they could present both of their charges, one regarding Williams’ alleged bias and the other regarding the dismissal of New Wave candidate Jessica Oseguera.

    An objection was raised by the defense when Daniel Watts, the New Wave spokesman and former Earl Warren College sophomore senator candidate, attempted to include arguments regarding the Oseguera disqualification. Watts is also a staff writer for the Guardian.

    The objection was sustained because the judicial board was prepared only to hear arguments against Williams as outlined in the April 12 complaint.

    Watts attempted to continue, but decided with Bournoutain to withdraw the allegations against Williams.

    “”We’ll spare you the hour,”” Bournoutain said, addressing Williams and withdrawing the complaint. “”Sorry about that. Sorry about wasting all your time.””

    The hearing lasted about 10 minutes.

    With regard to the hearing and all the allegations presented, Kyle Biebesheimer, Williams’ spokesman and the 2001-2002 commissioner of student advocacy, thought the complaint was without merit.

    “”The fact of the matter is that they weren’t prepared today,”” Biebesheimer said. “”I think that was clearly evident, and if Mr. Watts had actually thought about his argument a little further — which to me was evident that he didn’t do — but if he had, I’m certain he would even realize that charges against us were frivolous, and really in my opinion a flagrant abuse of the judicial process.””

    The judicial board has yet to set a hearing date for the second charge, which may take place as early as this week.

    Bournoutain said afterward that the date of the hearing, which was set on Williams’ last day in office, was a primary reason for withdrawing the complaint.

    “”It was a miscommunication between me and a former member of our slate. It’s just pointless. It’s just not going to accomplish anything,”” he said.

    In his opening statement, Watts briefly outlined the evidence the slate planned to use in its case. As evidence to support its claim of Williams’ alleged bias, Watts noted that Williams ran as a Students First candidate in the 1999 A.S. Council elections.

    Williams said that slates form around elections and have no continuity between elections.

    “”The name dissolves after the elections go away. Nothing carries over from year to year,”” she said.

    “”Alumni of Students First in no way put together slates that run after,”” Williams said. “”In other words, people who run under Students First don’t even have to get permission to use that name from the former people on the slate. I wasn’t approached and any of the older members of Students First were not approached regarding the use of the Students First name.””

    Watts also cited an article in The New Indicator titled “”New Wave: So Much for Diversity,”” which was distributed during the elections week in April. He said that Williams did not reprimand Students First candidates who, he charges, wrote the article. The New Indicator lists its contributors by first name only.

    Watts also accused Williams of having a favorable bias for Action. New Wave alleged that bylaws were created to take down New Wave posters.

    Williams discounted the accusations that she may have been biased during the election.

    “”I think the allegations are false. I don’t feel like there’s any truth or any standing behind the allegations as me not being neutral or disqualifying a candidate inappropriately. I think all of the steps were followed according to the bylaws,”” she said.

    Regarding the pending allegations for the Oseguera case, Williams said the judicial board is the wrong venue for the charges. The judicial board, she said, is supposed to hear appeals after cases are decided by the elections committee.

    “”Jessica [Oseguera] never filed a complaint with the elections committee regarding her disqualification, and that would have been the appropriate channel to go through if they were going to complain about her disqualification,”” Williams said.

    Bournoutain believes that New Wave’s case will come to fruition in the next hearing.

    “”I do believe that there were some biases during the election, and that’s why we’re further going to go along with our next hearing, which will probably be six days, and I believe that it will be much more clear after that hearing,”” he said.

    Biebesheimer does not believe the second set of charges will result in any adverse ruling.

    “”There was just nothing there to their argument,”” he said. “”I think the reason why Mr. Watts gave up was that he realized this halfway through his opening statements.””

    Biebesheimer said that he wanted to put this behind him and get on with other business.

    “”Let’s just get on,”” he said. “”The election is over, in my opinion.””

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