And while he never publicly threw his support behind Chaney, Pruitt made it clear whose side he was on.
But as he rode on the shoulders of CAA officials, Chaney said he had little to do with the personal controversies. "(CAA Vice President) Jon (Kanipe) and I were brought into this by association."
No resolution was reached in the Feb. 13 election, as the two deadlocked. Days later, Chaney was declared the official winner after several write-in candidates were eliminated and Chaney secured the majority needed for victory.
But not for long. Songer called for Chaney's disqualification after UNC alumnus and former Carolina Fever President Davin McGinnis sent a mass e-mail to students calling Songer a liar before the election. Songer produced another e-mail -- later dubbed the "smoking gun" -- as evidence that claimed Pruitt, Hart and then-Fever Co-president Eric Ellis were involved with McGinnis' e-mail. At the time, Hart and Ellis were both Chaney campaign workers.
Any slanderous actions by a campaign are grounds for disqualification, according to UNC election laws.
But the Board of Elections later ruled that the smoking gun e-mail likely was a forgery and initiated an investigation of senior Liz Gardner and junior B.J. Talley based on evidence that the two had been involved in the e-mail's creation.
The board ruled last week that insufficient evidence existed to implicate Gardner and Talley beyond a reasonable doubt.
Closure in the race came sooner, however. The board ruled to hold a re-election Feb. 27, of which Chaney was the winner.
But the organization wasn't free of public scrutiny yet. In March, three of Songer's campaign workers still involved in the CAA were fired allegedly for shirking their duties. Gardner resigned in protest shortly thereafter.
CAA officials only had a month to recuperate before Congress turned its eyes on the organization.
Sarah Marks, former chairwoman of Congress' Rules and Judiciary Committee, authored a bill calling for the CAA to be placed under Congress' oversight. The bill, which passed April 2, also mandated that the starting numbers for ticket distributions be chosen in public; that bracelet number ranges be published; and that public records be kept of every ticket given to CAA Cabinet members, Carolina Fever members or any other student officials or organizations.
The 83rd session of Congress later considered a bill calling for an investigation of the CAA by a congressional committee, but the bill failed.
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Now Chaney has the opportunity to press ahead with his plans for the organization. Chaney said he is glad the bill was passed in an effort to restore students' trust in the CAA. "The organization as a whole problem isn't in the best light," he said. "However, we have a fresh group of people ... willing to work hard."
Chaney said the CAA race was difficult for all parties involved, and the repercussions now pose a new challenge for him -- winning over those disillusioned with the organization's politics. "I think what happened hurt Michael Songer and myself," he said. "I think it turned a lot of people off ... they wanted to see it over with."
Chaney said being open and visible in public is the best strategy to handle the situation.
"I know we'll do some things that aren't going to make everybody happy, but I hope the good things will outweigh the bad things," he said.
In preparation for next year's business, Chaney said experience was something he considered when selecting Cabinet members. "But I look at myself, and I don't have any experience," he said.
He said he is concerned with his lack of experience from a presidential standpoint, but he will listen to those working around him. "I think a new group leading can be a good thing. (It can provide) a new outlook on issues and ideas."
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