Article Courtesy of The Palm Beach Post
By Christine Stapleton
Published July 15, 2016
West Palm Beach -- A judge on Monday ordered the
condominium association to pay whatever it takes to keep the water from
being shut off at Green Terrace -- an 84-unit apartment complex once raided
by the FBI in its investigation of South Florida sober homes.
The city shut off water to the complex Thursday morning when the board
failed to pay a long-overdue $22,000 water bill. The association, embroiled
in a bitter lawsuit with residents over finances, told residents there was
not enough money to pay the bill.
The city turned the water back on Friday afternoon after
learning from The Palm Beach Post that residents had not
been warned that they would be without water over the hot
In court Monday, board President Sandra Matus told Circuit
Judge Catherine Brunson that the association has only $1,760
in its operating account. The board also has $290,000 in
reserves but has voted against using the money to pay its
In September 2014, the FBI raided the complex on Georgia
Avenue off Belvedere Road, then the location of Good
Decisions Sober Living facility, owned by Ken Bailynson. No
charges have been filed. Bailynson shut down the business
but continued to buy apartments.
William Pincus, attorney for the residents, said the
condo board’s vote was stacked. According to Pincus, Bailynson wants to take
over the complex and has amassed 44 votes by buying units. Another 13 votes
are controlled by the association and several board members who got their
apartments from Bailynson.
The Green Terrace Condominiums on Georgia Avenue near
Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach on March 26, 2014.
However, some bills are being paid, including pool service and termite
control in Bailynson’s units, Pincus said. The real reason, he said the
board doesn’t want to pay the water bill is so members can use the shutoff
as leverage to dissolve a year-old legal injunction.
The injunction bars the board from raising assessments, performing
construction and borrowing an additional $2.5 million from a company owned
by Bailynson. The board already has taken out a $1.5 million loan from
Bailynson’s company. That loan, with a 24 percent interest rate, requires
the board to make monthly interest payments of $30,000.
Matus said, as president, she did not have details of the association’s
finances. She just signs checks when her signature is needed. However, she
said she knew that bills that have been paid this year were for services
last year and that all accounts are in arrears. The association has been
paying the minimum amount necessary to keep the water on, Matus said.
As for the city’s claim that it tried to work out a payment plan to prevent
the shutoff last week, Matus denied those discussions occurred. City
officials did not return a call for comment.
Matus said she did not know how or when the association would comply with
the judge’s order.
“You can’t pay something you don’t have money for,” Matus said.