ASUC attorney general drops investigation, suggests review of reporting procedure

Student Action Senator Rosemary Hua

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ASUC Attorney General Hinh Tran has determined that Student Action Senator Rosemary Hua did not commit any violations of the ASUC Constitution or bylaws, according to a statement he released on Tuesday.

Tran announced an ongoing investigation into a senator’s alleged misuse of ASUC polling resources at a public ASUC Senate committee meeting Monday night and declared the investigation’s end less than a day later. Tran said Hua was innocent of all allegations against her.

This was the first investigation conducted by the attorney general’s office this academic year, according to Tran.

The attorney general’s office launched the investigation after Hua’s GSI for Political Science 171, “California Politics,” approached Tran over winter break with the concern that Hua had used ASUC polling resources to complete a class project.

Tran said documentation provided by Hua demonstrated that she used a publicly available polling service and paid for the survey with her own money. His review of Hua’s emails, classwork and bank statements after announcing the investigation led him to close the investigation the next morning.

“I was expecting that this would be handled as an internal manner,” Tran said. “I had hoped (it would be), and I guess that is my fault.”

Tran said he expects the ASUC to consider revisions to the reporting procedure of the attorney general’s office. He emphasized that the investigation was the standard response to allegations brought to the attorney general’s office.

“I would imagine following the fallout of this incident, we would begin formalizing reporting procedure from the attorney general’s office,” Tran said.

While the ASUC bylaws require Tran to investigate allegations reported to his office, he said there are no policies that outline the investigative process or that specify when investigations are to be made public. He said that he interprets the ASUC Constitution to require the attorney general to report all ongoing investigations and happenings within his office to the Constitutional and Procedural Review Committee, whose meetings are open to the public.

“(The investigation) was supposed to remain internal to the Senate until it either moved forward to prosecution, or it ended because there was no evidence,” Hua said in an email.

CalSERVE Senator Nolan Pack said he expects the ASUC will discuss refining the investigation process in the near future.

“(What) we’re hoping to see come out of this process is a more clearly defined institutional structure for dealing with this sort of situation,” said CalSERVE Senator Nolan Pack, who serves on the Constitutional and Procedural Review Committee. “This is an opportunity for us to improve the way we do investigations.”

Contact Libby Rainey at [email protected].