Ross School of Business School junior and Michigan Student Assembly Rep. Anton Vuljaj pled guilty at a pretrial hearing yesterday in to one felony count of using a computer to commit a crime and a felony charge of interfering with an electronic device. The first charge has a maximum penalty of four years in prison and a $5,000 fine and the second carries up to two years in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Vuljaj, represented by Student Legal Services attorney Doug Lewis, said during the hearing that he used a computer program “to disrupt a website” from his dorm room on March 20 and 21 of 2006. Those dates overlap with that spring’s MSA elections.
The website belonged to the Michigan Progressive Party, a party challenging the then-dominant Students 4 Michigan, of which Vuljaj was a member.
Party websites provide a link for potential voters to the voting website, and election periods generate the highest site traffic for the sites.
The MPP site was attacked during the election by a program that downloaded a single file over 200,000 times without ever actually visiting the site.
S4M went on to win most of the seats in elections, including the highly contested presidency.
In written statement, Vuljaj apologized early this morning to campus for his actions during the election.
“I understand what I did was irresponsible, inappropriate and unacceptable,” he wrote. “I compromised my own morals in that election, letting down my fellow Wolverines and the Michigan tradition.”
He also laid out plans for his future on the assembly, saying he would work toward election reform.
Vuljaj will be sentenced Feb. 14.
MSA President Mohammad Dar said he wasn’t yet sure whether he will ask for Vuljaj’s resignation from the assembly.
“His resignation gives us a lot to think about,” Dar said. “There are more members of the assembly I need to consult with before I would want to discuss any plan of action.”
Former MSA President Zack Yost, MSA Student General Counsel Arvind Sohoni and MSA Rep. Gibran Baydoun were in Washtenaw County Court yesterday with Vuljaj.