Student Court disqualifies leading candidate in spring election

Christopher Massana

In a new twist in the ongoing Student Government Spring Elections saga, leading presidential candidate Pedro Amirato and his vice president, Patrick Callahan have been disqualified from the race.

Student Court held an appeals hearing on March 20, with two appeals on the agenda. The meeting spanned four hours.

On Feb. 26, a case was brought to the Elections Board by Ella Tepper – the runner-up candidate in the presidential election – and her VP Jaclyn Broudy regarding Amirato and Callahan’s campaign material. Amirato and Callahan did not get their sponsors approved, according to the Elections Board, which goes against election regulations. The two were reprimanded by the board.

Tepper and Broudy appealed the reprimand to the Student Court last night because they believed that the violations were major and deserved more than a reprimand, according to an opening statement from Broudy delivered at the meeting.

Broudy cited invoices — statements that record how much money was spent by the candidate at a particular business— submitted by Amirato and Callahan as allegedly being falsified. Invoices were missing information including phone numbers and have incorrect addresses, according to Broudy.

It was also alleged by Broudy that Amirato and Callahan had exceeded the limit on campaign expenses, and had failed to report all of them.

After hearing evidence, the Election Board cited SG statutes, which the Amirato and Callahan were found to be in violation of. In the end, Amirato and Callahan were disqualified from the election.

“By two votes to one, the decision was to disqualify [Amirato] and Patrick from the race, so on that note, we move on to the next item on the agenda,” said Chief Justice of the Student Court, Ryan Quinn, as the court closed out the appeal hearing.

Another case heard that night was an appeal by Callahan against Ella Tepper, her VP Jaclyn Broudy, and their campaign manager A.J. Einbinder over the use of social media in their campaign. The appeal began as a case that the Elections Board heard on Feb. 25. The Elections Board dismissed the case on Feb. 26, but Amirato and Callahan appealed the decision, which was heard by Student Court. The Student Court upheld the decision to dismiss the appeal made by Callahan. They determined that there was not enough evidence to prove that Einbinder misused social media in the election.

The second appeal, Broudy vs. Amirato/Callahan, continued from a case that the Elections Board also heard on Feb. 26 regarding inconsistencies in campaign expenses. Amirato and Callahan are appealing the decision to disqualify them, according to Amirato.

A date has not been set to hear the appeal as of press time.