ASUC Judicial Council accepts CalSERVE presidential candidate Juniperangelica Cordova’s plea deal

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The ASUC Judicial Council unanimously voted to accept ASUC Senator and CalSERVE presidential candidate Juniperangelica Cordova’s plea deal Thursday night, in which she pleaded guilty for violating ASUC election bylaws.

Cordova allegedly committed a Class B violation or “major” violation — the specific bylaw states candidates cannot campaign or put campaign materials anywhere inside any building controlled by the ASUC Student Union. On March 18, a public notice was issued stating that Cordova violated ASUC bylaws.

The notice included a petition filed against Cordova, which alleged that she committed a violation at the UNITY Resource Center’s campus drag show March 11 by telling the audience about her campaign materials at the show.

According to ASUC election bylaws, Cordova’s infraction was a Class B violation and can receive up to three censures. A censure is a formal disapproval, and receiving five censures results in disqualification.

Cordova pleaded guilty to the elections violation in order to receive two censures instead of three, according to Ken Lohatepanont, the elections council prosecutor.

Cordova and Lohatepanont agreed to work on the plea deal prior to Thursday night’s hearing after Cordova said she felt pressured to commit the infraction, Lohatepanont said.

According to Maureen Ochi Sides, the ASUC Judicial Council chair, the Judicial Council has never rejected a plea deal in the two years that she has been on the council.

“There were circumstances around the event itself where Juniperangelica did feel pressured, and she was put on the spot, and although this does not mean that she’s not guilty of this violation, through bylaw interpretation, I feel that it is possible to be lenient and offer this plea deal,” Lohatepanont said.

Contact Mariam Zagub at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @MZagub.