Sunday, July 21, 2013

Email to Jena Ritchey, CVE Elections Chairperson RE Election Violations

Thank you Ms. Ritchey for an additional opportunity to add to my challenge of the CVE Presidential election. There are some additional facts and arguments that I would like to speak to arising from the Rep. Council meeting of June 3, 2013, for which both you and I were present. At that meeting Ms. Porch addressed my email calling for her resignation and recommendation that my challenge be sustained so as to redo the election. My demand was based upon Ms. Porch, as campaigning candidate and CVE President, using her office by way of the "CVEpresident" email address to turn over my email, meant only for fellow CVE members and marked as "Confidential Union Matter," to the Superintendent of the District with the words, "Here you go! Jennefer." At the meeting of June 3, 2013, Ms. Porch read a prepared statement to the council. I did not write down her exact words and I would ask that you obtain the statement for the record and forward me a copy. But I believe it can be fairly stated that she admitted what she did was wrong and I believe said something like that she "would never do it again." I believe there was some additional comments addressing her relationship with the Superintendent which I did not fully understand.

I believe the statement will further reveal that Ms. Porch never disputed that she was acting as both candidate and CVE President at the time of forwarding the email to the Superintendent as I assert in my request for resignation and approval of challenge. She did not dispute that she violated her fiduciary duty to put the interests of the represented above her own. She did not dispute that the Superintendent's resulting email to all certificated employees regarding my email hurt my reputation during the election. She did not even dispute that such an effect was her purpose. Despite reading from a prepared statement, Ms. Porch did not address her purpose. She also did not state the nature of the conversation between her and the Superintendent regarding me. She also did not state whether she had other communications with the District regarding me. She has also not addressed these issues to me personally. I believe it is the responsibility of the elections committee, which is charged with preserving a fair election, to investigate these issues thoroughly. However, I also believe that Ms. Porch has lost credibility as to these issues and that her admission of wrongdoing alone under these circumstances is sufficient to sustain the challenge.

What Ms. Porch's mental state really was in forwarding the email is essentially impossible to prove. I don't know what Ms. Porch is capable of. I would not have thought her capable of the admitted wrongdoing. I have seen the good in Ms. Porch and understand why many would rather summarily excuse her action rather than think ill of her. But it cannot be the responsibility of a challenging party such as myself to prove Ms. Porch's mental state beyond doubt. The fact is that it is very rare to discover the act of wrongdoing which has been admitted here. Ms. Porch did not admit she did anything wrong until confronted with the evidence. And this evidence was obtained only because of the District's inept ability to recognize what it was. This is the "smoking gun" that one almost never obtains. Furthermore, no one need believe that Ms. Porch presented the information to the Superintendent to affect the election to understand that the appearance of a fair election cannot be established under these circumstances, and the only remedy is to sustain the challenge. It is still my hope that Ms. Porch will realize that CVE cannot move forward as a united union under these circumstances and request the CVE elections committee to sustain the challenge.

Other issues to investigate would include whether anyone assisted Ms. Porch in her prepared statement. It would be unfortunate if CTA continued to involve themselves in CVE's election by assisting only one candidate. Further, it was mentioned by one of the representatives at the council meeting of June 3, 2013, that "extra" ballots were provided to site representatives and that she put those in with the envelope. This is evidence that "extra" ballots were available, perhaps even in the envelopes submitted to CVE. I have provided evidence that Ms. Porch accepted an unsealed envelope filled with ballots. I believe it would not be in keeping with the spirit of the rules of a fair election to even take control of sealed envelopes filled with ballots. It was most definitely a critical error to accept unsealed envelopes. To add to these facts that it would be relatively easy to obtain blank ballots completely destroys the integrity of the election. Imagine that I had taken control of unsealed envelopes during the election and had access to blank extra ballots before the ballots were counted. Whether Ms. Porch or I could ever think of changing ballots is not the point. It simply is not in the spirit of a fair election for ballots to ever be handled in this way. The membership cannot have confidence in the election process given these facts. And it is essential for all members, not just the majority, not just my supporters or Ms. Porch's supporters, to have confidence in the election process. For this reason, this error also alone is enough to sustain the challenge.

Thank you for your consideration of these matters. Sincerely,

Manuel Yvellez

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