Opinion By Jan Bergemann
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.
letter below is just one of the typical examples how the DBPR is dealing with
official complaints filed by citizens of this state.
becomes more and more obvious that the DBPR employees in charge of dealing
with these complaints have a total disregard for the job they are getting paid
to do. Or even worse
-- they think that if they ignore the problems long enough, the
problems will go away automatically.
many cases they may be right, because these citizens are in the end totally
frustrated about the lack of action and they consider further reminders a
total waste of time. Is that what our elected government officials want? It
certainly doesn't help to improve the shaky reputation Florida already has!
I receive complaints about the lack of response from the DBPR. Many citizens
already refuse to file complaints with the DBPR – “Total waste of time
complaint listed below is now nineteen (19) months old -- and nothing really
has happened to solve the problem. Normally,
the DBPR executives like to dispose of these complaints by writing useless
warning letters -- warning letters nobody takes seriously any more. But in
some cases they just postpone making a decision, because taking the necessary
action is not in their vocabulary -- it seems?
arbitration ruling made it clear that Lee Dunn, board president and
CAM manager, was guilty of many violations that have cost the homeowners
outrageous amounts of money! But as you can see from the
letter below -- nineteen (19) months later still no action has
been taken. See
the whole story at: SECTION
20 PROPERTY OWNERS' ASSOCIATION, INC., PUNTA GORDA
similar complaint against a manager -- pending for many years -- has so far
failed to be resolved, but his license was obviously renewed. It's the case
against Robert Dugger (Case # 2002-007094) and Rachel Dugger (Case #
2004-057943) -- please note the years in the case numbers.
Dugger is a former city commissioner, removed from office by Governor Jeb
Bush. Dugger has been involved in
many cases in Miami -- running a business known as “The Timberlake Group.”
The infamous case of the MIRAMAR
GARDENS TOWNHOUSE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC. definitely created many
headlines and some pretty clear court rulings. But obviously not enough to
convince the DBPR Assistant General Counsel Jessica Leigh to take the necessary
action. Similarities? Jessica Leigh is as well the counsel on record in the
Dunn case -- see below!
other cases that made headlines are as well left without any real answers so
The case of The VILLAGE OF KINGS CREEK CONDOMINIUM,
where the board president Astrid
Buttari donated $10,000 of the association’s funds to an outside group,
dedicated to fight the zoning change. A warning letter issued by the
Division "assumed" that the decision had been made by vote of
the board. The Division leaves owners, who disputed this fact, with no
answer. Owners claim there never was such a board meeting or vote on the
already know that Division investigators love to "invent" board
meetings -- see the election dispute at the Cove
at South Beaches Condominium Association. In this dispute the DBPR
investigator "assumed" that the election had been cancelled at a board
meeting, until board members spilled the beans and admitted that the "now
former" president invented this meeting!
And we definitely still wait for any response
from Harold Hyman, Regional Manager of the Bureau of Compliance in Fort
Lauderdale, in regard to the complaint about the election at the Playa Del Mar
Condominium. In this instance,
Robert Rubinstein, attorney in the law firm of Becker & Poliakoff,
initially stopped officially appointed election monitors from doing their job.
Furthermore, the board continues to allow a man who is not a member of
the association to serve as its president – a clear violation of the
ALLEGEDLY VIOLATES FLORIDA STATUTES
this happened at Playa Del Mar in February 2006, Hyman still has not taken any
action to rectify this situation. Hyman's
first excuse for not taking action: “I
haven't gotten a written complaint!” He received two (2) written complaints
a day later -- but has still not done anything!
somebody with authority should meet with the DBPR employees and give them this
valuable lesson: Problems
and complaints don't disappear by hiding the file under another big stack of
other unresolved complaints.
seems Secretary Marstiller is unable to take on this task.
She merely observes, while taxpayers’ money is being wasted on
useless employees unwilling to do the job!
in case you still have doubts, listen to the talk show "On
The Commons" recorded on August 5, 2006. The guest was Bill
Reeves, a consumer-advocate attorney, who had been a Director of Regulations with
it's up to us consumers to make the necessary noise.
We need to change things – to protect our rights!
56 Marajo St.
Punta Gorda, Fl. 33983
of the General Counsel
North Monroe St.
Leroy Clark Dunn
above listed complaint was originally filed over 19 months ago. On May 18,
2006, I received correspondence from you stating in pertinent part,
“[P]robable cause was found to believe that the Subject violated
applicable section(s) of Chapter 468, Part VIII, Florida Statues”. Last
week, your assistant, Maria, told me that Mr. Dunn has requested a formal
hearing and that you were in the process of “negotiating the case”
with Mr. Dunn. I am shocked and appalled at this development.
seems that there is no inter-departmental communication in the DBPR. Did
your investigation give consideration to the Summary Final Order issued,
by Arbitrator Susan Wilkinson Harnden, that is the crux of the matter? I
am enclosing a copy of the order so that it may become part of your file
in this case. There are also videos of the meetings that were supplied to
the DBPR, which I can send again should that be necessary.
Dunn has repeatedly and consistently used his position as a licensed CAM
to abuse the residents of our community. He orchestrated an election that
was overturned, “imposed an illegal assessment on our membership…,
misled the membership prior to the election…, violated the principals of
the election process…, rejected ballots that goes against legal
rationale and the concept of fair play…, and tabulations of the vote
were a sloppy, indiscernible collection of handwritten ticking and
numbers”. These are all found in the arbitrator’s ruling. She
concluded by finding the election was conducted “improperly and in bad
election, illegal assessment, adoption of the architectural review, and
the adoption of the budget were all overturned. In the seven months it
took to get this ruling from the arbitrator, $80 per lot, which amounted
to a total of $312,800.00, was collected illegally and allegedly spent on
“hurricane clean-up”. It does not appear to me that any real
“hurricane clean-up” was done, and we are still trying to repair our
common areas from Hurricane Charley.
addition, you have been supplied with documentation showing Mr. Dunn’s
practice of keeping residents from obtaining documents of the Association,
as well as a document signed by Mr. Dunn representing himself as an
the DBPR did reverse the election, it apparently does not have the will to
follow through with the revocation of Mr. Dunn’s license. It is
incomprehensible to me and many other residents how this agency could
allow Mr. Dunn the ability to continue to work as a licensed CAM. If the
DBPR does not revoke this license, it is my opinion that you should
abolish the sham of licensing in its entirety. This license does nothing
to protect homeowners from unscrupulous managers if the DPBR does not
enforce its right to remove the same.
my question to you is why is the DBPR office of General Counsel
negotiating with Mr. Dunn? I believe your job should be the protection of
the taxpaying homeowners. It appears that the DBPR is more interested in
the protection of Mr. Dunn than of the 3,910 individual homeowners that
have paid the price for his total disregard of the laws governing the
license you have bestowed upon him.
20 Property Owners Association
Governor Jeb Bush
Representative Mark Foley
Senator Tom Lee, President
Senator Mike Bennett
Allan G. Bense, Speaker
Representative Paige Kreegel Representative Julio Robaina
Charlie Crist, Attorney General
Gary VanLandingham, Director
Anthony B. Spivey, Executive Director