Student Government Comptroller faces two week suspension for not fulfilling job duties
Gisselle Gladden argues that she was not properly trained or warned about her performance
Gisselle Gladden, the AU Student Government comptroller, has been suspended from her position for two weeks and put on an additional month-long probation after the SG Judicial Board that she did not complete six of the responsibilities of her office.
Sophomore Mulan Burgess, associate comptroller, will temporarily assume Gladden’s duties. Gladden, whose suspension will end Feb. 20 and probation will end on March 22, declined to comment beyond a joint statement made by the SG executive board.
In their statement, President Valentina Fernández, Vice President Leela Najafi, Secretary Alex Behle and Gladden said they were aware of the suspension and working with Student Activities to ensure a smooth process.
“We are confident that Gisselle will work thoughtfully and diligently to resolve these matters as speedily as possible,” they said in an email. “During this period, we intend to put distractions aside by continuing to fight to enhance the AU student experience.”
The board’s ruling was a result of sophomore senator Danya Adams’ official inquiry into Gladden’s performance, which culminated in an hour-long Judicial Board hearing Monday night. In her presentation during the hearing, Gladden said comptrollers for the past three years have been brought before the board for not completing their duties.
“This scenario that is happening to me is not exclusive to me,” Gladden said at the hearing. “There are flaws in the bylaws and they are not fair to anyone in the comptroller role… To me, this is a reflection of the poor constructs and lack of clarity and enforcement within the governing documents.”
Gladden was accused of a total of nine performance infractions and found responsible for six, including failing to attend or send a delegate to SG senate meetings, failing to update financial transparency documents on the SG website and failing to submit performance reports for the Senate Finance Committee. The Judicial Board, chaired by sophomore Brian Fu, ruled unanimously on all nine decisions.
Adams said her inquiry was not meant to attack Gladden or her character.
“I’m coming to you all from my role as the chairwoman of the Committee on Accessibility, Transparency, and Accountability, where it is my job to hold Student Government officials accountable, especially when they are being stipended and receiving $8,000 for their work,” Adams said during the hearing.
Gladden called five witnesses to defend her performance as comptroller, including all three of her fellow executive board members. Gladden argued that she did not receive enough training for her role, alleging that her transition documents were stolen from the SG office.
She also stated that she sent Burgess in her place to Senate meetings last semester, although there was a point of contention on how many times he actually attended. In the Judicial Board’s decision, they said there was “not enough evidence to show that a member of the Comptroller’s cabinet, or the Comptroller herself, had attended every meeting.”
In addition, Gladden said she was not properly warned about not fulfilling her duties, although Adams and Fu said Gladden was notified in December.
“I urge you all to question the root problems and what we can do together to make sure this doesn’t happen again, both for me and for other comptrollers in the future,” Gladden said at the hearing.
Asher Weinstein contributed reporting to this article.
Editor’s note: Gisselle Gladden served as The Eagle’s business manager during the fall 2017 and spring 2018 semesters. She was not involved in the writing, reporting or editing of this article.