SRC ELECTIONS 2018

USU Board Censures Carrigan and Magyar

Tim Asimakis recaps todays eventful Board meeting.

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Content Warning: This article references sexual assault. 

The board today censured Directors Robby Magyar and Liam Carrigan for misuse of USU funded CabCharges during the month of January.

The motion to censure Carrigan passed with the vote of every present Director, excluding an abstention from Magyar. However, the motion to censure Magyar was a much tighter affair, with the room splitting five-five, forcing President Tara Waniganayaka to use her casting vote to carry the motion.

The censure motions were both moved by Board Director Tim Matthews, who argued that his fellow Directors had held students and the board in contempt by their abuse of entitlements. They follow an internal investigation conducted by the USU’s HR department, that found that of the 27 CabCharges used by Carrigan in January, 23 of them were not valid under the USU’s CabCharge agreement, and of the 12 used by Magyar, eight were not valid.

However, multiple Board Directors criticised the transparency and thoroughness of the investigation. The critics include Magyar himself, who argued that only two of his usages fell outside the terms of the agreement, as opposed to the eight identified in the report. Magyar told the meeting that he had already made an offer to reimburse the USU for those two trips. He further stated that he offered on multiple occasions to provide more detailed explanations for his CabCharges if necessary, but was never afforded the opportunity to do so.

It is understood that these criticisms explain the tight nature of the vote to censure Magyar.

Commenting to Honi, Magyar said, “I accept the censure on the basis of two misuses. All I had hoped for was the remaining charges in the month of January to be accepted as valid usage and within the purview of the USU’s CabCharge Agreement.”

Speaking to the board, Carrigan admitted responsibility for his misuses and promised to reimburse the USU. He went on to describe January as “the darkest month” of his life, though stressed that this was merely by way of explaining his actions and in no way was intended to excuse or justify them. “This scandal did not just impact me, but the organisation we all care so much about”, he said. “This is the reason I do not want to run from it.”

Carrigan detailed a month that was traumatic for him, both mentally and physically. “I was not properly medicating my ADHD due to circumstances beyond my control, which had a serious impact on my mental health and behaviour”, he told Honi. Furthermore, Carrigan indicated that his excessive usages in late January “were in the wake of a devastating sexual assault”.

Carrigan is currently considering whether or not he wishes to make further details of his circumstances publicly available.

A censure is a formal rebuke from the Board that indicates a breach of the USU’s regulations.

The Board closed the agenda item by reaffirming its commitment to transparency and accountability and by passing a motion moved by Vice-President Bebe D’Souza commending the work of the HR department and staff during the month of January.

In addition to D’Souza’s motion, six motions relating to the use of CabCharges were carried. All were moved by Board Director Tim Matthews. They were:

1) That the Board unequivocally condemns the use of the Directors’ CabCharge Cards for purposes outside those proscribed by the CabCharge Credit Card Agreement as an abuse of corporate opportunity.

Votes for: Alisha Aitken-Radburn, Kate Bullen, Liam Carrigan, Bebe D’Souza, Kade Denton, Robby Magyar, Tim Matthews, Ed McMahon, Eve Radunz, Simone Whetton.

2) That the Board finds that Mr Robby Magyar failed to adhere to the Regulations and Directors’ Duty Statements.

Votes for: Alisha Aitken-Radburn, Kate Bullen, Kade Denton, Tim Matthews, Simone Whetton. Votes against: Liam Carrigan, Bebe D’Souza, Robby Magyar, Ed McMahon, Eve Radunz. Tara Waniganayaka used her casting vote to carry the motion.

3) That the Board finds that Mr Liam Carrigan failed to adhere to the Regulations and Directors’ Duty Statements.

Votes for: Alisha Aitken-Radburn, Kate Bullen, Liam Carrigan, Bebe D’Souza, Kade Denton, Tim Matthews, Ed McMahon, Eve Radunz, Simone Whetton. Abstentions: Robby Magyar.

4) That the Board censures Mr Robby Magyar.

Votes for: Alisha Aitken-Radburn, Kate Bullen, Kade Denton, Tim Matthews, Simone Whetton. Votes against: Liam Carrigan, Bebe D’Souza, Robby Magyar, Ed McMahon, Eve Radunz. Tara Waniganayaka used her casting vote to carry the motion.

5) That the Board censures Mr Liam Carrigan.

Votes for: Alisha Aitken-Radburn, Kate Bullen, Liam Carrigan, Bebe D’Souza, Kade Denton, Tim Matthews, Ed McMahon, Eve Radunz, Simone Whetton. Abstentions: Robby Magyar.

6) That the Board recognises the need for a more transparent and accountable approach to the entitlement of Directors to spend the funds of the University of Sydney Union at their discretion, and to that end undertakes to implement a policy for the proper regulation of this system at or before its meeting on 24 April 2015.

Votes for: Alisha Aitken-Radburn, Kate Bullen, Bebe D’Souza, Kade Denton, Robby Magyar, Tim Matthews, Ed McMahon, Eve Radunz, Simone Whetton.