The Constitutional Council will hold pre-trial proceedings for the case Park v. Steffel et. al. before a public hearing set for either April 8 or 9, according to a Sunday email from Chief Justice Jane Wang (22C) to the parties in the case.
He alleged that Student Government President (SGA) Lori Steffel (21B), Bachelor or Business Administration (BBA) Council President Emily Ferguson (21B) and BBA Council Vice President-elect Katie Lee (22B) violated the SGA Code of Elections in campaigning for the joint candidacy of Rhea Kumar (22B) and Nick Paschetto (20Ox, 22B) for SGA president and vice president.
Park claimed that Steffel and Ferguson are members of the Elections Board and asserted that they violated the Code of Elections by endorsing Kumar and Paschetto while sitting Board members. He also alleged that Lee violated the Code by campaigning for Kumar and Paschetto while also running for office.
Park also accused the Kumar and Paschetto campaign of ignoring Elections Board directions to stop sending mass texts soliciting votes from students.
Wang set the initial date of the hearing for either April 8 or 9. The Council will decide the official date for the case by April 1, based on the availability of the defendants and the plaintiff. Steffel, Ferguson, Lee, Kumar and Paschetto have until the end of Wednesday, March 31 to submit their responses to Park’s allegations along with any evidence.
These responses will be sent to Park, who will then be allowed to submit a rebuttal, provide additional evidence, as well as a list of witnesses. The rebuttal and additional evidence will be sent to the defendants, who will likewise be allowed to rebut Park’s arguments and submit further evidence and a list of witnesses.
All parties must submit materials for the hearing by the end of Sunday, April 4. The Council decided that evidence from anonymous sources will be accepted. SGA Attorney General Ryan Murray (19Ox, 21C) will vet the evidence, and the identity of the anonymous witnesses will not be revealed to the public.
Wang also clarified the rules for the proceedings, which include eight-minute opening statements from each side. The plaintiff and the defendants can call witnesses for both direct and cross-examination. The Council will then be allowed to pose questions to both sides.
The hearing will take place over a Zoom webinar broadcast live for public viewing. The Council will make all case materials public to those who request them after the hearing.