On Sunday, the Associated Students Judicial Council ruled that the removal of A.S. representative Scott McDowell from his position on the Isla Vista Project Area Committee was unconstitutional. A.S. Executive Vice President of Local Affairs (EVPLA) Deanna Kavanaugh-Jones dismissed McDowell on April 17.
The Judicial Council ruled the dismissal unconstitutional because neither the executive nor the legislative branch of A.S. relieved McDowell of his position. Kavanaugh-Jones dismissed McDowell independently of Leg Council, citing the EVPLA Representation Bill as giving her power to both appoint and dismiss on her own.
The bill, which was passed in October 2002 to clarify who should make appointments to IVPAC, was found unconstitutional because it ran contrary to A.S. law, which states that Leg Council must approve all committee appointments.
“It should have been a by-law, not a bill. It was poorly written,” Judicial Council Chair Maggie Stack said.
Kavanaugh-Jones said she dismissed McDowell because he had missed “a few” meetings where important votes were held.
“I felt like he wasn’t adequately serving the student population and that he was not supportive,” Kavanaugh-Jones said.
Some questioned the timing of McDowell’s removal.
“I have no understanding of why Scott was removed so late in the year, if it was because of constitutionality [of the bill] or the quality of his representation of students,” Judicial Council Member-at- Large Patrick Dickey said.
With the recent induction of the 2003-04 A.S. government, McDowell’s reappointment is largely symbolic, because appointments last for one year only.
McDowell, a member of the Gauchoholic party, said that the Student Action Coalition administration was trying to remove him because of party politics.
“They don’t like me very much. I don’t know why,” he said.
After dismissing McDowell, Kavanaugh-Jones appointed A.S. president and fellow S.A.C. member Chrystine Lawson to IVPAC.
“I witnessed GPAC throughout the year and was updated through [Kavanaugh-Jones’] proximity,” Lawson said. “She felt that there wasn’t anyone else who was more informed than me. There weren’t that many students who were involved.”