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Friday, January 15, 2021











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Subject: Fiduciary duties
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Author Messages
ClaraC
(Florida)

Posts:1


01/04/2021 10:01 AM  
I am wondering is it legal for a wife setting on HMO board to let the husband send text to the Hmos lawyer. This is without the other board members knowledge. One of the board members got a e-mail from our HMOs Lawyer stating the law. We have 5 board members and this sort of thing has happened since last year. Also this husband has bullied and harassed some of our membership as to his belief. He is on our committee and goes against what the committee agrees on. He goes so far to take his wife to our local county to complain about work being done in our community. I feel he is representing himself as sitting on our board of directors to the county without any other Board members agreeing or voting on this. Is this a conflict of interest or is she overstepping her duties.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1484


01/04/2021 10:25 AM  
Are these condos or an HOA? It can make a difference in Florida.

It's not a conflict of interest. It's more like fraud if he is representing himself as something he is not (ie. someone with the authority to speak for the association). For what it's worth, the lawyer shouldn't even be talking to the guy if he's not on the board - the lawyer does potentially have a conflict of interest because he represents the association and not individual homeowners. The lawyer should only speak with the designated representative of the board. The board should not appoint anyone who is not a director because directors deal with confidential information that may not be disclosed to owners.

I assume the wife is unable to rein hubby in based on your description of his behavior. It's also possible, though, that he is acting with her full knowledge and approval. We don't know.

So the problem becomes: what are you going to do about it?

The remaining board members should push back and shut this down. Assuming that doesn't achieve the desired result, next steps would be removing the wife from the board (a legal process involving holding a special meeting for that purpose) and other legal actions such as arbitration or mediation. All of these take time and effort (and sometimes money) so you should be sure this is a battle you want to fight.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3670


01/04/2021 10:45 AM  
what were the messages about? If it or they weren't related to any association business at all, there might not be a problem If it concerns legislation action by the association and the husband is sticking his nose where it doesn't belong, that could be a problem. Attorney/client communications are supposed to be private.

If you have proof any of this is happening and you're on the board, you should call for an executive session and demand answers of the wife. A formal censure and removing her from any officer position would be warranted. You probably can't remove her from the board itself -she'll have to be voted out of recalled by homeowners, although You could stay st her resignation.

You also said the husband is on a committee. In many HOAs, committee members are appointed by the board, and can be removed, so if he's been a bully and displayed other bad behavior, the board should have already addressed this. If they hav, but he's still being an ass, the board should be able to remove him.

By the way, if there are 5 people on this committee, including you, why haven't the rest of you complained to the board about this before now? Yes only one vote and the wife is only one vote, so if they object and refuse to behave, they can be overruled - if the board and committee have any backbone. If your committee comrades are tired of the guy's behavior, you could threaten to quit enmass. If you do, write a letter of resignation objecting to the man's conduct.

Finally, if you want answers to legal questions, to to a private attorney. Depending on the information sent to the attorney, it may or may not be something that's specifically addressed in a statute, but it seems to be highly unethical. Which is almost just as bad because there's not much distance between unethical behavior and breaking the law.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7758


01/04/2021 12:00 PM  
Are you on the Board, Clara? How many are on the Board?

What is the name of the committee you serve on with this jerk?

What is the "law" that the attorney cited?

Too many missing pieces, but from what you wrote. It sounds like the many is waaaay out of line.
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