Ramirez found in violation, responsibility of the issue

Ramirez found in violation, responsibility of the issue

Christian Ayers

UPDATE – 11/20/14 at 5:11 p.m.

In a nine-minute punitive action hearing, the Student Government (SG) Supreme Court’s only reprimand was requiring Senate President Kaitlin Ramirez to submit a report of an internal policy that will prevent records from being posted past their deadline.

Associate Chief Justice Ben Jaeger recommended that the council “mandate” this as opposed to issuing a recommendation.

This report is due to the justices by 10 a.m. on Nov. 26.

The punitive action was the only such recommended by Attorney General Matthew Harris.

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Senate President Kaitlin Ramirez was found in violation of Student Government (SG) statutes at her Nov. 19 hearing due to a lack of oversight of her legislative cabinet.

Attorney General Matthew Harris argued it was her responsibility for making sure records are updated.

Ramirez pleaded not in violation and insisted it was the responsibility of Senate President Pro-Tempore Shomari Gloster to update the records, who was not present at the hearing.

She had to plead either “in violation” or “not in violation” as opposed to guilty or not guilty due to a change in the Judicial Policies and Procedures (P&P), which confused Ramirez.

Chief Justice Daniel Powers said the judiciary changed the policies after the last hearing. Ramirez was not informed of the change, nor are the Judicial P&P posted online. The Spinnaker has made a public records request to receive the updated P&P.

“This is a very clear and simple requirement,” Harris said. “And continued failure and neglected duty to follow it cannot be allowed to continue. There must be a final solution to this repeated offense. The court must not allow this inaction to continue. If we fail to hold ourselves accountable, why bother? This organization will mean nothing. We must be above reproach.”

This marked the third instance of noncompliance against Ramirez, the second of which to go to trial.

There are 11 business days to update the Constitution after a bill revising the statutes is passed. Ramirez is ultimately responsible for making sure this happens. Gloster failed to update the Constitution after the bill was passed Oct. 27, which came to the attention of Senate Secretary Leah Tolisano on Nov. 13, 12 business days later. It is Gloster’s responsibility to update it. However, it is Ramirez’s responsibility to make sure he does so.

“Senate President Pro-Tempore Gloster had the amount of time to complete this,” Ramirez said. “We had a discussion to make sure that this process did not happen again. Unfortunately it did.”

Ramirez said as former senate president pro-tempore, she can attest that the responsibility of updating the Constitution and statutes was solely Gloster’s. She also said her leadership style was not to micromanage.

Tolisano reported the matter to Ramirez, who proceeded to update the Constitution one day late. Ramirez said Gloster was ultimately responsible for the update according to Chapter 408.4 Section A of the statutes, though Ramirez admitted she should have kept up with the posting and made sure it was updated in time.

“The greater concern is that this continues to be a problem,” Harris said. “This is a [recurring] issue and it seems very clear from the witness’s testimony that this is due in part to, in this case specifically, a lack of oversight in ensuring that this is being done.”

Chief Justice Daniel Powers and the associate justices concluded that Ramirez is ultimately responsible for the Senate’s business.

“Four times this has happened so we know it’s a problem,” Powers said. “And It’s [Ramirez’s] responsibility as branch head to oversee the problems.”

The first time of the four issues of noncompliance, of which Powers is referring to, would be the drafted noncompliance by Harris citing that it is ultimately Gloster’s duty to update it. In a recent interview with Spinnaker, Harris said it was a mistake and he was misinformed over the summer.

Ramirez arrived at the hearing late, causing the court to adjourn without her. The court reconvened at 10:20 a.m.

Ramirez will have her punitive hearing Nov. 20 at 4:00 p.m.

Gallery photos by Joshua Brangenberg

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Email Christian Ayers at [email protected]