Cease and desist order given to ASSOU

Photo courtesy assou.net

Due to a cease and desist order brought against ASSOU by SOU lawyers, no trial will happen against President Stephen Land, even if new complaints are filed.

While Chief Justice Aram Morgan declared the investigation and trial proceedings to be “nonexistent” at October 29’s judiciary meeting, all matters regarding allegations against Land were ordered to come to a permanent end at last Tuesday’s meeting.

“Serious questions have been raised about legal responsibility,” Executive Director for Student Life Rushton Johnson said. “The ASSOU has been ordered to cease and desist pending legal opinion of the ASSOU lawyers.”

The cease and desist order means that all members of the ASSOU, which consists of the executive, legislative and judiciary branch, can not speak about any allegations, investigations or trial proceedings concerning Land.

Land is exempt from facing a trial for ethical breaches of executive code, something the judiciary branch had been informally investigating for the last month.

Johnson expressed administrative concerns over the judiciary branch’s investigation last week. Concerns included the use of old and new rules, Justice Katherine Gohring’s recusal, and formal complaint procedures.

Senator Ryan Chaddock hoped the ASSOU could come out of this situation without potential legal repercussions and questioned how the senate should move forward.

“Does the senate want to work to pursue due process and change the rules?” Chaddock said. “The current rules are not very good.”

Land tried to turn the situation into an opportunity for reflection and growth, similar to Chaddock’s suggestion to review rules and procedures, but the conversation was deemed prohibited by Senator Paul Jenkins and Chaddock.

Land asked the senate for suggestions on improving his performance as president.

“I feel I am failing at my job,” Land said. “Some people see me in and others see me out. How can I do my job better?”

Speaker Kirby Rider moved to extend the conversation after 10 minutes, but Chaddock and Jenkins objected.

“I don’t know if I should say why I have problems with your job,” Chaddock said. “It pertains to the legal order. This conversation needs to be ended now.”

The judiciary branch further discussed making changes to complaint, investigation, trial and recusal procedures during the Friday meeting. No changes have been voted upon or solidified.

The judiciary branch and Rules Committee are planning to make a cooperative effort to make rules and procedures more clear and efficient.

ASSOU Senate meets every Tuesday in Stevenson Union Senate Chambers at 6 p.m. The judiciary branch meets every Friday in Hannon Library Room 356at 10 a.m.

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