Cory Lake Developer Files To Dismiss Lawsuit


Article Courtesy of The Tampa Tribune

By Laura Kinsler

Published August 26, 2008

CORY LAKE ISLES - Developer Gene Thomason has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit accusing him of misusing property owners association dues.

In the motion, Thomason's attorney, Ron Clark, argues that the 20 homeowners who sued Thomason and his company for fraud had no standing to bring the case.

"The underlying law is unequivocal," he wrote. "A member [of a property owners association] does not have authority to act for the association by virtue of being a member."

Florida law also prohibits such associations from entering into litigation for controversies in excess of $100,000 without a majority vote by the members, he wrote.

The homeowners accuse Thomason of using nearly $20,000 in association money to dig a well and pay for construction of a sea wall at his home in the gated community. They also say he used association money to buy a boat motor, fishing equipment and a custom boat top.

The lawsuit accuses Thomason of charging the association nearly $100,000 over five years for telephone service for his other businesses and cell phones for relatives and employees.

Clark cited several technical reasons in his motion. He also moved to strike more than 30 paragraphs from the original complaint, saying they are "immaterial, impertinent and scandalous allegations."

Thomason's wife and son also were named as defendants, as was Cory Lakes Limited, which has provided operations and maintenance services to the community since its inception.

Property owners association President Jane Taggart and board member Suzanne Manzi also were named. Their attorney, William Midyette, could not be reached for comment.