CONDO MANAGER BULLIES HIS WAY INTO "OWNERS ONLY" MEETING
Local police help manager and arrest owner!
Saturday, June 9, 2007 in the FONTAINEBLEAU
TERRACE OWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC. in
specific reason: They were holding a meeting to recall the board, according to Florida Statutes. And everybody in the community -- including Ray McDonald -- knew that he was the next to go if this recall attempt was successful. Clearly he tried everything to bust this meeting with the help of a pushy police officer, who claimed that nobody can prohibit him from entering the private meeting room. Seems he missed some important lessons during his education, too? Pushed aside at the door were the owners, who calmly stated that this is a meeting "For Owners Only".
hold a meeting to recall their Board of Directors, as guaranteed by Florida Statutes, was obviously stopped by unlawful means. I couldn't find anywhere laws that would justify the interference of police officers in this meeting.
And to add insult to injury: When the ladies, who were hurt in the scuffle caused by the police interference, went to the Police Station to report the incident later that day, they were told by Sgt. Jeffrey Heath, the Duty Officer, that their comments would not be welcome or even heard: "The only comments that matter are what the officers have to say," was Officer Heath's response to these ladies.
really seems to differ from the events seen on the video and the statements of witnesses. Sorry, if what we see on this video is (quote) "a lawful execution of a legal duty,” then I surely seem to misunderstand civil rights. And calling the private meeting room of a condominium a "Common Access Area" is definitely stretching it very far. In my opinion neither CAM McDonald nor OFC Nichols had any right to bust into this private meeting. Officer Nichols surely couldn't claim that he suspected any criminal activity in this room -- or could he? His actions seen on the tape surely give that impression.
Ongoing investigations will definitely show more light into this incident that seems to include all the makings of an interesting story: Violation of civil rights, police brutality, and further proof that our statutes claiming to protect the rights of owners in mandatory associations are ineffective and have no teeth.
For many years we have tried to convince our legislators that statutes are useless if the people in charge and the professionals can't be held accountable.
This incident teaches another lesson for owners: Use the written petition for recall as provided in the Florida Statutes [ Condo FS 718.112(2)(j) + HOA FS 720.303(10) ]. It's easier to use; it is much more difficult for the sitting board and their attorneys to oppose it; and it surely avoids nasty confrontations as seen on the video. Please contact CCFJ, Inc. at [email protected] for detailed instructions about the recall process!
This incident shows clearly that the laws fail our citizens. When will our legislature finally stop playing around -- to the detriment of the owners -- and create laws with real teeth? Laws that take away licenses from so-called professionals and put a stop to these shenanigans?