ANOTHER WARNING LETTER BY DBPR:
FAILURE TO PREPARE YEAR END FINANCIAL REPORT
COUNTRY CLUB CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION NO. 11, INC.
Opinion By Jan Bergemann
Published January 4, 2010
The Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes works really hard to give Florida's citizens the impression that the Division doesn't want to be taken seriously. With everybody GOING GREEN the Division writes letters -- and more letters -- nobody is taking seriously any more.
The latest example: Violation warning letters to the board of Palm Aire Country Club Association #11, Inc. in Pompano Beach.
The board of PACC #11, Inc. has expensive legal representation, meaning they should be well advised about the provisions in the FLORIDA CONDO ACT. Stuart J. Zoberg, Esq., former attorney of Becker & Poliakoff who now works for the law firm of Katzman Garfinkel Rosenbaum, should be telling them how to handle the financial accounting and reporting, instead of writing expensive letters to the Division in their defense -- after the mistakes have been made.
Already in September 2009 I published an article under the headline WARNING LETTER BY DBPR: FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ACCOUNTING RECORDS about the financial shenanigans in this condo association. The Division found the board of PACC #11 guilty of financial irregularities and issued a WARNING LETTER that stated: "...or repeated violations of a similar nature within two years from the date the violation is resolved, may result in an enforcement action by the Division as well as civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation." This warning letter was signed by Constance McCallum, Financial Examiner/Analyst, BUREAU OF COMPLIANCE.
The next complaint filed against the board dealt with a violation of the Florida Condo Act that states: "The association shall prepare and complete, or contract for the preparation and completion of, a financial report for the preceding fiscal year within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year, or annually on a date provided in the bylaws." [See: FS 718.111 (13)( a)]
It looks like the board decided not to publish the financial report as required. They may have been thinking: ‘If there is no financial report, owners can't complain about association funds being used for purposes other than common expenses -- the violation that we were found guilty of in the last warning letter’?
The same game started again -- only this time the Division acted faster (new complaint was filed on November 2, 2009), sending out another WARNING LETTER -- with the same old threat: "...or repeated violations of a similar nature within two years from the date the violation is resolved, may result in an enforcement action by the Division as well as civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation." This time the letter was signed by Aviole Ambroise, Investigator-Fort Lauderdale, BUREAU OF COMPLIANCE.
Maybe the DBPR employees from the BUREAU OF COMPLIANCE don't compare notes -- or there may be a DIVISION policy -- they have all kinds of weird policies -- that complaints from the same condominium association cannot be investigated by the same employee. Nevertheless, it shows that the threats being made in these warning letters can't be taken seriously. No matter how often boards violate the statutes, all they have to fear is another WARNING/EDUCATIONAL LETTER.
ENFORCEMENT WITHOUT TEETH!
board members laugh and the association attorney charges some more legal
bills to the association. Otherwise,
it's business as usual -- who cares about the
The Division will save a forest each year --
and can be used as a poster child for GOING GREEN!
FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ACCOUNTING RECORDS
SEE MY SUN SENTINEL BLOG: GOING GREEN?