President of the HOA Hall of Shame?

Article and Video Courtesy of Channel 13, Las Vegas

By Darcy Spears

Published December 6, 2010

 Watch VIDEO

Contact 13 first unveiled the HOA Hall of Shame a few weeks ago.

Since then, you've flooded us with email saying your HOAs belong there too.

But one really stands out.


Chief Investigator Darcy Spears introduces us to the man who some homeowners say should be president of the HOA Hall of Shame.

"He's just awful! People don't even want to live here," says homeowner Amie-Jo Dinsio.

"He picks and chooses people who he wants to fine," says homeowner Joe Salvatore.

"He puts his hands on people.  He throws books at people," Amie-Jo adds.

It's one thing to talk about Joseph Bitsky--the Autumn Chase HOA president.

It's quite another to see him in action.

Homeowner Joe Salvatore videotaped Bitsky and posted it on You Tube under the heading, "The Bitsky Rant."

"So it's ok for some people to have permission to park here but not others?" Salvatore asks in that video.

"It's ok for people who ask! Got it? Ask! Remember that!" Bitsky yells back.

Then he gets upset over being recorded and threatens Salvatore, by saying, "This is gonna cost you a lot of money! A lot!"

If you don't believe your eyes after watching that clip, try your ears out on recordings from HOA meetings.

"I said before you lien you have to have a hearing," Salvatore can be heard telling Bitsky.

Bitsky: "I do not!"

Salvatore: "Yes you do. Nevada Revised Statute..."

Bitsky: "You show it to me!"

Salvatore: "I'll give it to you, I'll find it."

Bitsky: "Here's the book!!!" (On the recording, you can hear a book being thrown) "Show it to me!!"

Salvatore: "I don't appreciate you throwing things at me."

Bitsky: "You're God damn right!"

And a few minutes later, he yells, "Nevada Revised Statute is wrong! You're wrong! Get out! Get out!"

"Bitsky law we call it," says Amie-Jo with a twisted smile.

Joseph Bitsky has been at the helm of the Autumn Chase HOA in North Las Vegas for ten years.

"We've had actual homeowners meetings where he's had to hire bouncers just to stand at the door," Amie-Jo recalls.

She and Joe Salvatore represent a group of four homeowners who filed a complaint with the Nevada Real Estate Division against Bitsky, his wife and their friend, who make up the entire three-person Autumn Chase board.

"We want them removed and we also want them to be held financially responsible for any misappropriations that they've accumulated over the years," Salvatore says.

In the complaint, homeowners say Bitsky selectively fines people.

They cite the You Tube rant as a case in point where Bitsky says, "Those people and those people have permission to park here! Your friend doesn't! Got it?"

The homeowners say he spends HOA money on things for his private home, like a surveillance camera.

"He controls everything," Amie-Jo says, shaking her head.

And they say he disqualifies anyone who tries to oust him from office.

"It seems to be about power--to have power over other people," says Salvatore.  "Because so far he's been held unaccountable for his actions."

That's until Contact 13 came on the scene.

"You've got some homeowners who believe you belong in the Hall of Shame," Darcy Spears told Bitsky.

"They're criminals. They're all illegal, ok?"

Illegal in the HOA sense, he explains.

"He said that I had continuing fines going on and that's why I couldn't run for the board," says Amie-Jo.

"What's a continuing fine situation?" Spears asked Bitsky.

"Young lady," he responds, "you need a little bit of an education, ok? Go get the education, then come back and ask the questions."

I assure him of my educational background and he backs down.

"A continuing violation is because they're going to do it again."

"Are you psychic?" Spears asks.

Bitsky has an outstanding fine of his own with the Nevada Real Estate Division.

In 2006, he was fined $8,000 for working as a property manager without a state license.

"Why haven't you paid that fine?" Spears asked.

"None of your business."

We also ask him about the surveillance camera on his home, which he admits he bought with association money.

"Why should they pay for you to have a video camera?" Spears asked.

"The person who came and destroyed my van was a homeowner."

Spears: "That means the entire community should pay for your camera?"

Bitsky: "It's not mine it belongs to the association, thank you."

Spears: "But it's mounted on your personal, private house."

He turns around, frowns, then asks, "Is there a law against it?"

The law is something Bitsky's had plenty of run-ins with.

Spears: "You're on a first name basis with the cops?"

Bitsky: ", they know when I call, oh, ok Mr. Bitsky."

North Las Vegas police confirm they've been to his house--where he holds every HOA meeting--a dozen times in the last two years.

There's an open investigation right now into a charge of false imprisonment stemming from an October HOA meeting.

"At the end of the meeting he locked us in his home because he found out that the recording had taken place and he wouldn't let us out," Amie-Jo recalls.

State law requires HOA meetings to be recorded.

But that doesn't stop Bitsky from raising a stink.

On the audio recording he can be heard screaming at the homeowners, "Erase it right now!  Erase it!"

Amie-Jo: "No, I am not. I told you when I walked in the door I was recording."

Bitsky: "I told you no.  Alright, call the cops right now."

Amie-Jo: "You are not calling the cops."

Bitsky: "I am too!"

Amie-Jo: "Oh my god!"

Bitsky: "Call the cops right now!!"

We ask him why he deals with his homeowners like that?

Bitsky: "It's not how I deal with the homeowners."

Spears: "You're dealing with me the same way."

Bitsky: "Look, it's how I deal with jerks!"

We ask him about that complaint on file with the Real Estate Division's Ombudsman.

"You know what the Ombudsman has done? Nothing! Because the complaints were lies!"

While it's true the Ombudsman hasn't done much yet, the State says it's purely due to backlog.

And let's not forget the cherry on this cake.

"Why are you trying to disqualify everyone that runs for the board?" Spears asked.

"Because they don't fill out the forms properly."

Interesting sticking point coming from a man who himself failed to fill out a form properly back in 2005 when applying to the State for a community manager license.

"They denied your application for a license based on failure to note you had a felony drug conviction," Spears said.

Bitsky: "I didn't have a felony drug conviction."

Spears: "So they're wrong there too?"

Bitsky: "They're wrong there because you better check!"

Joe, I did check.

Though he later told me it was only a misdemeanor, we got the minutes from the State hearing where Bitsky tried, but failed, to appeal the license denial.

It says he "forgot he had a prior felony" and "accidentally omitted" that from his application.

Spears: "Why did you have that conviction?"

Bitsky: "It was a possession."

Spears: "Of what?"

Instead of answering, he sticks his tongue out at me and smiles.

Spears: "You're sticking your tongue out at me?!"

Exactly the attitude homeowners say has made their neighborhood...

"Hostile," says Salvatore.

"Just awful," adds Amie-Jo.

So we asked Bitsky point blank, "Do you belong in the HOA Hall of Shame?"

"No, no," he protested.  "It's the people who filed complaints for no reason because they got fined! They belong in the HOA Hall of Shame!"

We'll keep you posted on the outcome of the complaint pending with the State and whether they're able to help the homeowners who want to remove Bitsky from the board.

In the meantime, if you'd like to see more of Mr. Bitsky, the entire interview is posted in connection with this story. And don't forget to keep sending us your nominations for the HOA Hall of Shame.