Former Student Association presidential candidate Lande Watson has filed an injunction with GW’s Student Court to postpone this week’s SA elections for a second time, Chief Justice Guillermo Martinez confirmed in an email Monday.
If granted, the injunction would postpone the elections while Watson appeals her disqualification. On Saturday, the Joint Elections Committee – the student body that oversees the elections – found Watson guilty of four out of the 11 election violations she was charged with, including allegations of harassment, intimidation and stalking toward members of SA presidential candidate Cole Ettingoff’s campaign.
“The Student Court is currently evaluating the merits of the complaint, as well as the written response that the JEC is expected to file by tomorrow at noon,” Martinez said in the email.
Martinez said that any judicial proceedings that occur will be open to the public.
“Due to the neutrality that distinguishes the court, I – or any of the other judges – will not comment on the case until it has concluded,” he said.
Watson said in an email that the JEC originally postponed the election to allow Ettingoff and his girlfriend, Ali Belinkie, who filed the complaints against Watson, their “right to due process.” She said she also deserves the same extension.
“By their own logic, the JEC, which originally moved elections to ensure a ‘free and fair process,’ should welcome this injunction,” she said.
Ettingoff – who filed one of the initial complaints against Watson – did not immediately return a request for comment.
Last week, members of the JEC first pushed the SA elections to this Wednesday and Thursday after a large number of complaints were filed, saying they needed more time to investigate the claims.
At Monday night’s SA Senate meeting, Executive Vice President Thomas Falcigno also announced that an injunction was filed in Student Court but did not mention Watson by name.
JEC chair Alex Simone, who spoke during the public comment session of the meeting, said the JEC will not postpone elections on its own accord but is waiting for a decision from the Student Court.
“I would love to say this would be over in two weeks, but I really don’t know,” Simone said.