Memo: SA leader instructed staff to mislead reporter

Student Association President Vishal Aswani’s chief of staff instructed the executive cabinet to mislead a reporter about who paid for an August executive cabinet retreat, according to an internal memo given to The Hatchet.

Document: E-mail memorandum from Aswani’s chief of staff (pdf)

Aswani, a senior, spent $315 of his personal funds on Washington Nationals tickets in August and was reimbursed on Sept. 2 from the SA executive’s revenue account, according to an account summary. The executive account does not contain funds from the student fee.

The SA president later wrote on The Colonialist blog that he returned the $315 to the account. Since the post, SA officials have refused to provide documentation that the deposit took place.

In an e-mail given to The Hatchet by a member of the SA, SA Chief of Staff Greta Twombly, a junior, instructed the cabinet on Sept. 3 to “tell (The Hatchet) the following and ONLY THE FOLLOWING: You all paid for your own food and tickets to all events. This includes Nationals, Redskins, Nooshi, Froggys, etc.”

Twombly then instructed the cabinet to “throw in something about how you had to stop Vishal from paying himself and you insisted on paying.”

According to the e-mail, Twombly said any cabinet member found leaking the memo would “have the appropriate action pursued against them.”

Vice President of Financial Affairs Chas Pressner said on Sept. 2 that Aswani paid for all of the retreat events out of his own pocket as a reward for hard work. The next day, soon after Twombly sent the e-mail, Pressner retracted his comment and said the cabinet paid for themselves.

Pressner, a sophomore, acknowledged this Wednesday that he had received the e-mail but declined to comment further. Twombly and Aswani also declined to comment.

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