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Officer suspension


Guest Alma

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1.) A club secretary had charges filed against her.  The board members present (7 on the board, 1 absent, 1 was excused because the charges were against her, leaving 5 members) voted to hold a hearing.  The board also voted to have a hearing committee of 3 board members.  2 of the 5 voting board members requested to be excused from the hearing committee, 1 due to a close family relationship with the accuser, 1 due to business involvement with the accused.  The club C&B does not address whether or not the 2 could vote on whether or not to move forward with a hearing.  Should the 2 board members have been excused from the voting process as well as the hearing committee?

 

2.) The hearing committee honored the charges.  A letter of reprimand was given to the accused officer setting guidelines for her to follow surrounding written correspondence to club members and her conduct during board meetings.  The letter stated that if she did not follow the guidelines, she would be suspended.  During a subsequent board meeting, she addressed the restrictions in her secretary's report.  The president called her to order twice and she complied after the second call to order.  The president then told her she was to remove herself from the conference meeting.  When she did not, he disconnected her.  He then stated to the rest of the board that he had the right to take this action per Roberts Rules since it was not addressed specifically in the club C&B.  Without going into executive session, a motion was made, seconded, and passed by majority vote to suspend the secretary for 30 days.  The club C&B does not provide for the board to suspend a club member.  The president stated this could be done because the letter of reprimand stated that if the secretary did not abide by the conditions set forth in the letter, she would be suspended.  Was it appropriate for the board to vote to suspend her for 30 days?

 

3.) The motion was only for the 30 day suspension.  After the majority vote of approval, the president took it upon himself to say that the suspension meant she was no longer a member in good standing and removes her from her secretary position, editor of the club newsletter, and from an exclusive list she qualified for within the club.  The club C&B only states that a person must be a member in good standing for 2 years preceeding election to office, it has no conditions about what happens if an officer/director is suspended while serving their term.  The club C&B does state that the board can remove a member at any time from a committee position, including the newsletter editor and the exclusive list.  Can the president decide to not allow the secretary to resume her position after the 30 day suspension has ended?

 

4.) The C&B requires 10 day notice for a board meeting unless all members agree to a meeting with less than 10 days notice. The day of the meeting, the president emailed the board cancelling the meeting due to unforseen events. Can a board meeting be cancelled in this way?

 

Thank you for your assistance.

 

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1.) Should the 2 board members have been excused from the voting process as well as the hearing committee?

Although a member should not vote if he or she has a "direct personal or pecuniary interest not common to other members of the organization" he or she cannot be compelled to refrain from voting (RONR p. 407 ll. 21-31).

 

 

2.[A]) The hearing committee honored the charges.  A letter of reprimand was given to the accused officer setting guidelines for her to follow surrounding written correspondence to club members and her conduct during board meetings.  The letter stated that if she did not follow the guidelines, she would be suspended.  During a subsequent board meeting, she addressed the restrictions in her secretary's report.  The president called her to order twice and she complied after the second call to order.  The president then told her she was to remove herself from the conference meeting.  When she did not, he disconnected her. 

He had no right under RONR to do so.  See RONR pp. 645-648 for the correct procedure in how to deal with a disruptive member.  Also, by "disconnected her" do you mean that you were having the meeting by telephone?  If so, do your C&B specifically authorize this?

 

 

He then stated to the rest of the board that he had the right to take this action per Roberts Rules since it was not addressed specifically in the club C&B. 

RONR says no such thing.  See the pages I cited above.

 

 

[C]Without going into executive session, a motion was made, seconded, and passed by majority vote to suspend the secretary for 30 days.  The club C&B does not provide for the board to suspend a club member.  The president stated this could be done because the letter of reprimand stated that if the secretary did not abide by the conditions set forth in the letter, she would be suspended.  Was it appropriate for the board to vote to suspend her for 30 days?

That ultimately depends on what the letter said exactly (don't post it here please because it is beyond this forum's scope to interpret bylaws or letters) but generally speaking the Board only has the authority the C&B give it (RONR p. 482 ll. 25-29).

 

 

3.[A]) The motion was only for the 30 day suspension.  After the majority vote of approval, the president took it upon himself to say that the suspension meant she was no longer a member in good standing and removes her from her secretary position, editor of the club newsletter, and from an exclusive list she qualified for within the club. 

Nothing in RONR grants him that authority.

 

 

The club C&B only states that a person must be a member in good standing for 2 years preceeding election to office, it has no conditions about what happens if an officer/director is suspended while serving their term.  The club C&B does state that the board can remove a member at any time from a committee position, including the newsletter editor and the exclusive list.  Can the president decide to not allow the secretary to resume her position after the 30 day suspension has ended?

Sounds like the Board can do the removing but the President by doing so unilaterally exceeded his authority since that is the Board's bailiwick..

 

 

4.) The C&B requires 10 day notice for a board meeting unless all members agree to a meeting with less than 10 days notice. The day of the meeting, the president emailed the board cancelling the meeting due to unforseen events. Can a board meeting be cancelled in this way?

RONR doesn't grant the President the authority to cancel meetings and in fact there is no mechanism under RONR for a meeting to be cancelled.

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RONR doesn't grant the President the authority to cancel meetings and in fact there is no mechanism under RONR for a meeting to be cancelled.

 

Well, the motion to Amend Something Previously Adopted would do the trick, if the meeting was one of a series of future meetings previously scheduled.  But that would have to take place at a meeting.

 

So it would be safe to say that there is no mechanism under RONR for the very next meeting to be canceled.

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