ASUC Judicial Council votes on election charges, two accepted

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William Webster/Staff
The ASUC Judicial Council voted on charges against candidate Chaka Tellem and senator Ellis Spickermann, the primary sponsor of the referendum to renew the STF.

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The ASUC Judicial Council voted Monday on charges against presidential candidate Chaka Tellem’s campaign and Senator Ellis Spickermann, the primary sponsor of the referendum to renew the Student Technology Fund, or STF, fee.

After almost two hours of closed-session deliberation, the Judicial Council accepted two of three charges against Tellem and accepted a plea deal for Spickermann.

Nathan Mizell, director of policy to the ASUC President, filed three charges against Tellem’s current presidential campaign and ElevateCal, a newly-formed coalition Tellem is running with, according to the petitions filed to the Judicial Council.

The first charge alleged that ElevateCal intentionally spread objectively false information under an ASUC bylaw 4203, section 3.17 when the coalition described itself as “independent.” Maxim Miller, a member of Tellem’s campaign, said this label was objectively true as ElevateCal is “free from outside control.”

The second charge alleged that ElevateCal inappropriately used Tellem’s ASUC email for campaign purposes by sharing it on their website under ASUC bylaw 4203, section 3.5. In response, Miller said Tellem posted his ASUC email to “facilitate conversation surrounding his current ASUC initiatives” rather than for campaign purposes.

The last charge alleged that Tellem inappropriately campaigned on campus-operated residential housing grounds under ASUC bylaw 4203, section 3.11.2. Miller said while the Maximino Martinez Commons could be seen in the background of one of Tellem’s campaign videos, Tellem did not campaign on or along the grounds of the housing complex.

Catherine Bauer, another member of Tellem’s campaign, alleged that Mizell has a “pattern of ill-will and hostility” toward Tellem. Bauer also alleged that Mizell had called Tellem’s chief of staff, Moorea Benmosche, to convince Benmosche to persuade Tellem not to run for president.

In a unanimous decision, the Judicial Council rejected the first charge pertaining to ElevateCal and accepted the other two. An expedited hearing for both cases will be held Saturday.

Tellem declined to comment until after further hearings.

The council also accepted a plea deal between ASUC Elections Prosecutor Joshua Kay and Spickermann, the primary proponent of the referendum to renew the STF fee, over potential violations of ASUC bylaw 4203, section 3.5.

In the original petition, Kay alleged that posts made on the UC Berkeley Student Union Instagram by the Student Union Marketing Team inappropriately endorsed the renewal referendum. The posts were deleted after Kay contacted the Student Union, according to the petition. Spickermann said the posts were not from a member of the renewal campaign.

The plea deal issued two censures to Spickermann. The original charge could have been punishable by up to three censures, according to the plea deal.

As the plea deal was accepted, the Judicial Council will no longer hold a hearing on the case.

Contact Christopher Ying at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @ChrisYingg