U of T Student Union Files Lawsuit Against Former Executive Director
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U of T Student Union Files Lawsuit Against Former Executive Director

The day after an unfavourable election result, former UTSU executive director Sandy Hudson claimed 2,000 hours of overtime.

The University of Toronto Students’ Union is looking to recover more than $270,000 it alleges was wrongfully paid to its outgoing executive director, Sandra Hudson.

In a lawsuit filed earlier this week, the union describes a seemingly brazen attempt by Hudson to claim nearly 2,000 hours of overtime worth $30,0000 the morning after unfavourable campus election results became public, in addition to compensation totalling nearly a quarter-million dollars for her abrupt dismissal.

The lawsuit from UTSU, which was first reported by the Varsity, seeks money paid to Hudson during the lame-duck period between the end of the election and the beginning of a new term of union executives. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Hudson, a fixture of U of T’s left-leaning campus politics since at least 2008, worked closely with slates affiliated with the Canadian Federation of Students. When students voted last March in favour of an opposition slate unfriendly to Hudson and the CFS, the lawsuit alleges that she conspired with two outgoing CFS-affiliated executives to approve 1,974.5 hours in overtime and dismiss her with compensation totalling $247,726.40, a sum representing nearly 10 per cent of the union’s annual operating budget. The union is funded by fees collected from all U of T students.

The overtime hours were filed in a single entry by Hudson on April 1, the day after the election results were announced. In the two years that Hudson served as executive director up to that point, she never filed overtime. Two outgoing executives, Yolen Bollo-Kamara and Cameron Wathey, both of whom are also named in the lawsuit, approved the hours and dismissal compensation without consultation with the union’s lawyers.

The lawsuit also describes an attempt by Hudson to destroy records by wiping her office computer hard-drive. It is not the first time this allegation has been levelled against CFS-affiliated university slates in Toronto: after the CFS-affiliated executives at Ryerson University were voted out of power around the same time as their counterparts at U of T, incoming union executives expressed their frustration over deleted records and wiped hard drives to the Eyeopener.

The defendants have 20 days to file a statement of defence. Hudson told Torontoist she could not comment on the matter. Wathey and Bollo-Kamara were not immediately available for comment.

CORRECTION: 3:54 PM This article originally stated an incorrect amount that UTSU is seeking in its lawsuit. They are suing for $270,000, not $125,000.