All entries for Wednesday 27 April 2005

April 27, 2005

But what are the charges?

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I have to say I still completely baffled by the misapropriation of logic that appears to have occured in relation to the John Cross disciplinary case.

If I were to point out every logical inacuracy in the Union's position in one entry I would be here all night, so I've decided to split it up into bite-sized chunks to make it easier for you to digest.

Today's installment is on the subject of the actual charges. The notification letter of a disciplinary is supposed to say what the alleged offence is, but all that John has received so far is an outline of the substance of the complaint made against him. Now summarising a complaint that has been made is no substitute for a statement of what the charges are, John is entitled to be told which of the 12 grounds for disciplinary action the hearing has been called under.

I now turn to the logical problems in the summary of the complaint.

This states,
"you have therefore exposed the Union to the possibility of legal action from both its own staff and a private company."

I can only assume from the investigating officern's report that the private company referred to is the Union's Auditor's, Baker Tilley, as the investigating officer claimed that John's vote against the accounts
"extends his allegation of fraud and corruption to a forth party: The Unionís auditors, Baker Tilley"

Lets us consider whether it is plausable that John's comments or vote could have anything at all to do with Baker Tilley.

John's comments were about the Union's accounts for the 2004–05 academic year. These accounts have not yet been audited by Baker Tilley. Therefore the comments John made have nothing to do with Baker Tilley whatsoever.

Could John's vote against the accounts have had anything to do with Baker Tilley? It is true that he voted against accounts that they have audited "as a protest". But he wasn't the only one. A significant number of other members cast their votes against these accounts. I voted against the NUS accounts at Conference this year and voted against the Union's accounts last year, infact it is perfectly normal for members to vote to reject the accounts if they wish to do so. Can a vote be an allegation of fraud? No of course not.

I certainly hope that it may prove possible to get some clarification from Baker Tilley before the hearing as to whether they view commenting on unaudited accounts to be an accusation of fraud against the auditors, or indeed what action they feel should be taken against all those members who dared to vote to reject the Union's accounts.

I am amazed that a Sabbatical Officer could make such a patently absurd claim.

In my next entry I'll be dealing with the subject of whether John could have opened the Union up to legal action from its own staff.


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