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CEO impartiality to go under the microscope

by Jacques Gallant November 29, 2011
CEO impartiality to go under the microscope

A special Concordia Student Union council meeting has been convened for this Wednesday evening to discuss a motion to overturn the judicial board’s decision dismissing former chief electoral officer Bram Goldstein.

In an email from council chair Nick Cuillerier, members were informed that the special meeting, which will be taking place right in the middle of the CSU byelections, came about after three councillors called for it on Saturday night.

Tomer Shavit at the Nov.1 judicial board hearing. Photo by Navneet Pall

The meeting comes amid accusations from former CSU councillor Tomer Shavit that neither current CEO Ismail Holoubi nor JB chair Ceejay Desfosses are impartial.

Shavit, who ran unsuccessfully for a council seat in last year’s general election with losing slate Action, represented the former CSU council during a recent JB hearing that resulted in the invalidation of the appointment of CEO Bram Goldstein, whose original hiring by last year’s council was deemed to be flawed.

Ultimately, Shavit is hoping for council to overturn the JB’s Goldstein decision, which would require a fourth-fifths majority vote.

”I think this entire thing has been an attempt by [CSU president] Lex Gill to appoint her own CEO,” said Shavit on Friday, referring to Holoubi.

Holoubi ran unsuccessfully for an independent seat on the CSU council in last year’s general election. Shavit had originally accused him of being part of the winning Your Concordia slate, of which Gill was leader, but Holoubi denied it in a statement to council, saying ”I wasn’t affiliated with any slate. I ran independently.” Gill has also denied the accusation.

Holoubi was appointed at a special council meeting on Nov. 2, the day after the JB invalidated Goldstein’s appointment.

Shavit filed his appeal to overturn the JB’s decision on Nov. 11, citing arguments which included criticism of the JB’s fast-track procedure and alleged hostility shown toward him by current JB chair Ceejay Desfosses.

Desfosses assumed her position following the resignation earlier this month of Cassie Smith, who cited a ”toxic environment” as a reason for her departure. Smith was criticized by Shavit for the way she handled the original hearing into Goldstein’s appointment. But it is Desfosses who especially concerns Shavit. He has accused her of being a corrupt official.

”I think that Ceejay was put on the JB by Lex Gill to move decisions in her favour, which is why I don’t have faith in the JB,” said Shavit.

Due to the accusations levelled against her, Desfosses recently emailed CSU council asking for suggestions to deal with Shavit’s appeal. At the council meeting held on Nov. 23, a special council meeting was suggested as one of the routes to take to deal with the JB/CEO matter.

In a statement sent to council and the media on Nov. 27, Desfosses said the JB would deal with Shavit’s appeal, but not with the accusations made by Shavit against her. No date for the appeal was given. The announcement of the special council meeting to discuss overturning the JB’s decision came on the same day as Desfosses’s email.

In an email sent to The Concordian on Nov. 26, Gill responded to Shavit’s accusations by saying they had no basis. With regards to Desfosses in particular, Gill wrote that ”the extent of my communication with Ceejay has basically been sitting near her in a political science class almost a year ago. I don’t think baseless, illogical, politically-motivated attacks are a reason for Ceejay, or anyone, to resign. I’m really disappointed with the way she’s been treated through this process.”

Shavit has accused Gill of being one of the main orchestrators behind the invalidation of Goldstein’s appointment.

”My first and foremost argument is that Lex is trying to make this whole thing seem as if council wanted Bram fired. She brought this to council and said that this was something that needed to be addressed. The idea of council versus Bram is disingenuous,” he said.

When Shavit brought up these same accusations at last Wednesday’s council meeting, councillor Michaela Manson responded that it was indeed council’s decision to refer Goldstein’s appointment to the JB, and not solely Gill’s.

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