April 14, 2024

BREAKING: Student Assembly Ethics Report Recommends Recall Vote for Vice Presidents DeLorenzo, Lederman Over Ethical Violations

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A recall vote was recommended for two high-ranking members of the Student Assembly in an S.A. Office of Ethics report released Sunday.

The S.A. Office of Ethics launched an investigation into Vice President of Finance George Rocco DeLorenzo ’24, President Patrick Kuehl ’24, Vice President of Internal Operations Clyde Lederman ’26 and Executive Vice President Claire Ting ’25 after The Sun reported on leaked text messages that revealed plans to harness the power of a Greek life “machine” in the Student Assembly during last year’s election cycle. 

In the report, DeLorenzo and Lederman were found to have used for their role to advance an agenda aiming to protect Greek life, “primarily through the suppression of information related to Greek life and or considered to be ‘controversial’ within that context.” Neither representative answered an immediate request for comment. 

The goal of the intended “machine,” according to multiple text messages between Assembly members and ex-president Pedro Da Silveira ’25, was to suppress negative portrayals of the Interfraternity Council, of which DeLorenzo was the president until early March. 

Text messages between then-IFC President DeLorenzo, Da Silveira and then-Cornell Democrats Treasurer Lederman show several agreements to block legislation pertaining to fraternities in exchange for the IFC’s galvanizing political support in both S.A. and Common Council elections.

The report also found that Lederman advocated for lifting slating bans in the Spring 2023 election to benefit his electoral ambitions, which the Office of Ethics determined is a violation of the S.A. Code of Ethics. DeLorenzo and Lederman were found to have used unethical practices in their pre-discussion and planning to remove ex-president Da Silveira, who had a pending Title IX allegation, from his position minutes after being sworn in. DeLorenzo and Lederman had knowledge of the allegation and coordinated prior to the swearing in ceremony to remove him.

Text messages released by The Sun also presented DeLorenzo’s views toward women’s health legislation, prompting an investigation into his behavior as chair of the Appropriations Committee. DeLorenzo was found to have acted in a manner that led to an uncomfortable working environment for committee members and byline organizations, though the Office also found that no funding was actually impacted by DeLorenzo’s personal biases.

Despite originally planning to release the report on Thursday, April 11, the Office of Ethics has encountered many “unexpected delays” in finalizing the report. The Office missed its self-imposed deadline of Saturday, April 13 at noon, and the report was instead released on Sunday at around 2 p.m. Ethics Director Alhassan Bangura ’25 declined to comment on the cause of the delays at this time.

The Student Assembly will have a special meeting on Sunday, April 14 at 4 p.m. to discuss the findings of the report and a potential internal recall vote.

Correction, April 14, 5:05 p.m., 9:30 p.m.: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Office of Ethics recommended DeLorenzo and Lederman be recalled from their positions. In fact, the Office of Ethics recommended an internal recall vote. A prior version also stated that DeLorenzo and Lederman committed an ethical violation in their aim to protect Greek life, when in fact their goals did not constitute a formal ethical violation.