|DBPR KNOWINGLY LIES TO CITIZENS -- IN WRITING!|
Opinion By Jan Bergemann
Published September 24, 2009
The DBPR knowingly lied to citizens -- in writing -- and the government officials we elected to watch the shop don't care. They are too busy with their campaigns running for higher office.
For many months the DBPR has sent out letters and e-mails claiming that the Regulatory Council of Community Association Managers (RCCAM) is making the decisions in regard to complaints against community association managers and issuing licenses to people who have been caught working as CAMs without a license.Even if Tim Vaccaro, Director of the Division of Professions, is trying to explain it as an innocent mistake -- I surely can't buy that! The reasons behind these knowingly false explanations given to citizens are very obvious: The DBPR knows full well about the huge distaste of many citizens regarding the lack of enforcement of rules against CAMs constantly violating Florida statutes and/or issuing licenses to people who got caught working without one. Not without reason,
Adding this provision was caused by the fact that many of the folks knew they could always get a license even after they were caught with their hands in the cookie jar!
So, in order to cover up that these decisions were being made behind closed doors by some DBPR employees, the DBPR sent out letters and e-mails explaining that these decisions are made by the RCCAM -- a Council that has two consumer advocates as council members -- at a public meeting. This is in my opinion a willful attempt to mislead and deceive the public. Nobody in the Division can be stupid enough to not know the proper procedure.
And it being a misunderstanding or an innocent mistake is really hard to swallow since the language was very clear and precise.
is an example from an e-mail dated 8-20-2009 sent by Freda Harris,
This statement leaves absolutely no doubt about the procedure that led to the issuing of a CAM license by the Division to an individual who was before found guilty of working without a license -- despite the above provision in the Florida statutes.
I would have possibly accepted the explanation of Tim Vaccaro as it being an innocent mistake, if I wouldn't have gotten a letter from Freda Harris on June 22, 2009, giving me this explanation regarding a CAM complaint I had filed against CAM Julie Marr:
After confirming with two members of the RCCAM that such a procedure as described in this letter doesn't exist at all, I sent a letter to DBPR Secretary Charles Drago, dated July 3, 2009,(See: CCFJ LETTER TO SECRETARY DRAGO: MISLEADING INFORMATION) explaining the false information and asking him to make the necessary changes to avoid this misinformation from being sent out.
On July 9, 2009 I did send another letter by e-mail to Freda Harris (See: CCFJ LETTER TO FREDA HARRIS (DBPR) attaching the letter that was mailed to Secretary Drago (see above) with further explanations as to the correct procedure.
Latest then it stopped being an innocent mistake sending out this false information.
Latest now Freda Harris and the Division should have gotten the message that they are supplying false information -- and should have corrected it. Not so! They may have revised one of their form letters, as Tim Vaccaro claimed, but that was it. From there on it was either incompetence or unwillingness to correct the mistakes.
But the same Freda Harris sent out on August 20, 2009 the above info -- claiming that the RCCAM made the decision.
Being curious, I sent a public record request to the DBPR asking for the minutes of the RCCAM meeting where this decision was made. Remember SUNSHINE LAW? If there was such a meeting, as Ms. Harris claimed, minutes should exist.
That started a chain of e-mail exchanges, starting with an e-mail sent to me by Tony Spivey, the
followed an exchange of e-mails
with Tim Vaccaro, Director
I think that Florida's citizens have the right to be informed about the correct procedures on how their complaints are handled. Especially a government agency has the obligation to be precise and accurate -- without trying to cover up their weird decisions made behind closed doors.
can't elect the DBPR executives - most likely none of them would get
elected anyway -- but we are electing the politicians. And they
prove over and over again that they absolutely don't care about the
welfare of their constituents. We should think twice before casting our
vote for them ever again. They are really responsible for the failure of
the DBPR to regulate professions and businesses and to protect
THE SOLUTION TO STOP THESE DBPR SHENANIGANS:
Make the Regulatory Council of Community Association Managers a full-fledged BOARD. That will surely stop the weird decisions made by DBPR employees behind closed doors! Florida's citizens have the right to TRANSPARENCY of the system, especially when the system is financed by their tax dollars!