Thuggery in Fort Lauderdale

We did a blog here a month or two ago about the president/treasurer of a Fort Lauderdale HOA. Seems the neighbors are irked that this guy has written tens of thousands of  of dollars worth of ‘salary’ checks to himself. Then he got pretty cocky and used money from the neighborhood budget to buy himself a new car.

Well, police have finally seen fit to arrest the guy on a second class misdemeanor. A couple of observations, here. The most this guy can get is a 30 day jail term and six months probation. That’s not bad work at all, if you can find it.

Second observation. The story was broken by a TV reporter. That means (to me, anyway) that the news media are starting to discover a lucrative source of stories and on-camera confrontations among corrupt Homeowners Associations. We’ve got to remember the pioneer in this kind of TV journalism, Nevada’s Darcy Spears of the HOA Hall of Shame report.

(link to Florida arrest story)

 

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About

Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

3 thoughts on “Thuggery in Fort Lauderdale

  1. Deborah Goonan

    It’s shameful that there is almost no accountability in Florida for this level of Board misconduct, Ward. “Operating a community association without a license.” Well, if that’s the charge, then that means the money he paid himself was stolen, doesn’t it? Why are there no charges filed for theft? Or for using Co-Op funds to buy himself a car?

    We hear over and over again from HOA proponents about how unfair it is when owners who pay their assessments have to pick up the slack for those that cannot or will not pay them.

    Well, how fair is it that owners have been paying this rogue Board member as self-appointed manager, to support his personal lifestyle? Shouldn’t Edward Ryan have to pay with a lien and foreclosure on his home?

    Reply
  2. Nila Ridings

    You are so right, Deborah!

    The HOAs want to beat a homeowner to death over $1,200 in late dues. Fine, lien, charge interest of 18%, and foreclose on them. But when a board member is ripping off the community it’s hardly even noticed.

    It’s called a double set of standards, I do believe.

    Reply

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