Ending Injustice at EPIC
Ending Injustice at EPIC
We the below signed members of the East Plano Islamic Center (EPIC) hereby call for a Special General Body Meeting per the guidelines in Article 10.4.1 of the EPIC Constitution. We call your attention to the serious violations of the EPIC Constitution committed by the Board and the serious injustices committed by the Election Committee in unfairly disqualifying several candidates. Unfortunately, this is a pattern that has repeated itself from the 2017 election in which the General Body had to intervene to prevent the unlawful disqualification of five candidates from the Election and had to have the Election Committee reformed with the addition of two neutral members.
Until these issues can be resolved by the General Body, the EC should halt the Election process and defer to the judgment by the General body.
We seek the following decisions from the general body:
Remove the current Election Commissioner, Shahzad Khan, who represents the EPIC Board as their attorney, and was appointed as Election Commissioner by the Board before the Election Committee (EC) was even formed, which is a major violation of the EPIC Constitution Article 6.1. Since the Board used a random drawing to determine the other four members of the EC, Shahzad Khan should be replaced by the next-in-line member from the random drawing
The Board cannot appoint anyone as Election Commissioner according to the Constitution as it should remain neutral in the process. Instead, the Board nominated its own attorney who has worked closely with the current Board, including the following members running in this election- Sameer Siddiqui, Riyad Chowdhury and Asher Khan. In written communication between a community member and the Election Committee (EC), Shahzad Khan admitted “that he cannot be appointed/nominated/selected/hand-picked by anyone.” Despite community members informing the Board and EC that this is a violation of the EPIC Constitution, the Board and EC chose to proceed. They tried to justify such an appointment by saying that the EC members unanimously chose the attorney as their lead but Article 6.1 states “The Election Committee will elect among them an Election Commissioner to lead the committee.” and the attorney Shahzad Khan was not among the 4 names chosen randomly in front of the public on 11/15/19.
Complete the Election Committee selection process by appointing a 5th Election Committee member according to the random drawing process that the Board chose and as outlined in the Constitution (Article 6.1). The newly formed Election Committee will have the right to reevaluate the validity or invalidity of candidacy of previous nominees.
The current EPIC Board has illegally extended their term by more than 5 weeks and must, therefore, refrain from conducting any major events or making any hiring decisions and should limit themselves to the minimum tasks needed for EPIC to function until the new Board is formed. The EPIC Board publicly announced in November, 2019 that the election for a new Board would occur on January 15, 2020. The current Board was elected on Dec. 10, 2017. Thus, their term was extended to more than 25 months instead of two years.
The term is limited to 2 years as mandated in Article 6.7.1 and 6.3 of the EPIC Constitution. The EPIC Board did not state in writing any reason for this delay but publicly announced that they needed more time to file annual tax and accounting documents, which is not a valid excuse according to the Constitution and is normally part of any transition between outgoing and incoming Boards. Moreover, the EPIC Board of Directors called for an annual fundraising event to occur on Jan. 11, a few days before the Jan. 15 elections. However, the annual fundraising event should be scheduled and organized by the new Board, which should have been elected by Dec. 10, 2019.