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Grier recordings spur appeal to Student Supreme Court

The appeal alleges Paul Kushner, chairperson of the UNC Board of Elections, and Luke Cullifer, the student solicitor general, violated the Student Code by providing advice to student body president candidates Grier and Elizabeth Adkins that other candidates did not receive.

The appeal also said the hearing decisions were biased, as the decision did not follow precedent set in previous decisions.

“The actions taken by Mr. Kushner and Mr. Cullifer made a fair and impartial hearing an impossibility at the time, and it remains an impossibility if heard by the Board of Elections,” the appeal said.

Kushner abstained from voting during Grier’s hearing, which Grier said he felt showed the hearing was fair.

“I definitely know that my hearing was fair,” he said.

Grier said he was not given advice, only factual information from Kushner and Cullifer.

“It is outlandish because the same advice that I had been given, it didn’t favor me or help me at all,” Grier said.

The original complaint, filed by Hopping, contained 19 charges — but the Grier campaign was only found guilty by the BOE of three technology violations and one false start violation.

Hopping said after the decision, he had the chance to review all the evidence given at the hearing, including recordings Grier had made of conversations with people like Adkins and Kushner.

Grier said he felt some of the recordings were taken out of context and that he was trying to be transparent with the BOE, and the recordings were never supposed to be public.

“In those recordings, there was significant evidence that showed the hearing was not conducted fairly and that the chair of the BOE, as well as the student solicitor general, advised Mr. Grier and Ms. Adkins on how to proceed in the hearings on best practices for coming out on top of these hearings,” Hopping said. “I don’t know, it struck me as a pretty severe and distinct violation of the Student Code.”

The appeal requests the Student Supreme Court invalidate the BOE’s decisions in Hopping v. Grier and Muriuki v. Adkins and hold re-hearings for both cases.

“At this point, in my opinion, there has been enough trouble from the Board of Elections, enough evidence of bias — while none of it is kind of clear and substantial on its own, when you put it all together, especially with the most recent recordings that have been submitted, I just don’t believe that the Board of Elections can, as it currently stands, conduct a fair and impartial hearing,” Hopping said.

The appeal also asks that Kushner and Cullifer be removed from office.

Kushner said he will be sending materials to the Student Supreme Court for their deliberation.

“We will cross those bridges when we get there,” he said.

Kushner said there is not anything in the Student Code about conduct prior to a hearing and he said he has acted under the guidelines laid out in the Code.

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