ASPSU office in turmoil

There is only a little over a month before Jonathan Sanford’s administration ends on June 1, but the ASPSU president has watched his executive staff dwindle to only four legitimate members.

There is only a little over a month before Jonathan Sanford’s administration ends on June 1, but the ASPSU president has watched his executive staff dwindle to only four legitimate members. One staff member was asked to leave and another left of their own accord as a result of disagreements.

In a recent e-mail sent to the Judicial Board’s listserv, Sanford explained his reasons for letting go of Outreach and Funding Coordinator Tasha Triplett after a tense confrontation during a staff meeting. However, Triplett remains on staff at this point because she says Sanford didn’t follow the proper procedures for firing her.

Chief of Staff Zaki Bucharest also left the office this month after Sanford said is a mutual understanding between the two.

“We talked and decided it wasn’t the best place for him right now,” Sanford said.

Sanford said the troubles began on April 12 and have continued since.

“The fights we’ve been having in the office have been getting more heated,” he said.

In the e-mail, Sanford said, “Tasha Triplett acted very aggressively toward me, cussing at me [and] then called public safety office in an effort to force me out of the office. I do not feel safe with her in the office or around me.”

Sanford said there have been growing problems in the office with Triplett for a while.

“After several weeks of looking into the successes of each position at ASPSU, it had become apparent that some staff members were not performing their job description,” Sanford said in an e-mail to the Vanguard on April 17.

According to Sanford, the blow-up between him and Triplett happened after he asked the staff to turn in “transition binders,” which are to be used as reference materials about ASPSU by president-elect Katie Markey’s incoming administration.

Sanford said he gave Markey a transition binder the day after she was announced as president, but many remaining members of his staff have not been cooperative with the process.

Sanford said he is unable to account for much of the work his staff members are accomplishing.

“They’re all just burnt out and no one wants to be held accountable right now,” he said.

Sanford said the problem with Triplett illustrates the problems with the staff, who are all tired at this stage of the year.

Sanford and Triplett must now go through mediation through the campus Ombuds office before Triplett’s employment status can be changed in any way. Though Triplett claims she is still with ASPSU, Sanford does not list her as one of the remaining staff members. Triplett declined to comment, as did ASPSU communication director Laura Morency.

As Events and Outreach Coordinator, Triplett makes $600 per month in stipend, according to the SFC Budgeting System, which she is still getting paid despite her unknown status with ASPSU.

Earlier in the month, Bucharest was exonerated by the university of all charges brought against him by economic professor John Hall. Bucharest was accused of being an FBI agent. At a student code of conduct hearing on March 19, Bucharest was supported by members of ASPSU. He declined to comment on his departure from ASPSU.

Jonathan Sanford’s Executive Staff changes 2009–10

Christopher Proudfoot—Legislative Affairs Director:
Resigned November 1, 2009 to focus on outside works. Position filled by Katie Markey.

Azadeh Chitsaz—Vice President:
Resigned January 26 to tend to an ill relative. Position filled February 9 by Eddie Hallman, former administrative director.

Christian Aniciete—Communications Director:
Resigned February 10, citing different interest but expressed frustration with ASPSU members during an impeachment process. Position filled by Laura Morency in early March.

Sarah Lynn Doherty—Equal Rights Advocate:
Resigned fall 2009. Position vacant.

Zaki Bucharest—Chief of Staff:
Resigned April 12. Position vacant.

Administrative Affairs Director:
Eddie Hallman vacated the position to take over as vice-president after Chitsaz left.