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Subject: Violent Felons running for the board
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Author Messages
MichaelK28
(Maryland)

Posts:3


03/31/2021 6:44 AM  

Im in a HOA in Maryland that is in the process of turning it over from the Builder. We are working on elections. We currently Have 3 Violent felons running for President, Treasurer and Secretary. Only a few of us know that they are Felons. On the Community webpage they made threats to other members. My question is Does Maryland require background checks for Bond insurance reasons? Our brings in over a million dollars a year and we are worried that we are vulnerable to the people. Any advice you can offer would be helpful.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3921


03/31/2021 7:11 AM  
If they've served their time and went through probation, there's no reason why they can't run - people can change, even those whove done horrible things (there are dozens of examples throughout history)

The said, you don't say what they were convicted of, how long ago or what's going on between the people they allegedly threatened. If those people are concerned, that's a matter for police, not the HoA. before the election, I would suggest a meet the candidates event where everyone running can make a brief statement about their background and why they'd like to serve. You

I don't know who's brave enough to do ask about this (if you're that concerned, perhaps YOU can bring it up). It could be as simple as asking what would do if you learned of something really concerning about a person's background and he or she is running for the board of volunteers for a committee - they meet the qualifications, so would that thing automatically disqualify them?


As for bond requirements, you'll have to check with the state. Better yet, why not ask the builder - I would think it there are any bond issues the HOA may need, that would be addressed in your documents. Have you read them?
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1881


03/31/2021 7:11 AM  
Check your state laws governing HOAs and see whether or not convicted felons are prohibited from serving on the board.

If the laws say nothing, check with the HOA's insurance agent. It's very possible that your HOA could become uninsurable, or at the very least see their premiums go through the roof, if you have a felon on your board. Financial realities may get you where you want to go.

I believe felony convictions are public information, so there is nothing to stop you from talking to your neighbors as long as you stick to factual information. I also think such things are legitimate election issues that homeowners are entitled to question and discuss. Finally, if these guys are threatening and insulting neighbors, they may undermine themselves just fine.
CindyH6
(Florida)

Posts:70


03/31/2021 7:15 AM  
Posted By MichaelK28 on 03/31/2021 6:44 AM

Im in a HOA in Maryland that is in the process of turning it over from the Builder. We are working on elections. We currently Have 3 Violent felons running for President, Treasurer and Secretary. Only a few of us know that they are Felons. On the Community webpage they made threats to other members. My question is Does Maryland require background checks for Bond insurance reasons? Our brings in over a million dollars a year and we are worried that we are vulnerable to the people. Any advice you can offer would be helpful.





In Florida it’s illegal for felons to serve on the board , there might be a similar law in Maryland.

The PM that we had , knew about the felons on our board and said they did not run back ground checks because it was a volunteer position. Again once the information is brought to light , it is difficult to justify allowing the situation to continue.
The PM continued to defend the felons position and say it was more than 5 years ago so it didn’t matter.

So a few of the owners started digging up dirt from the county website and sent to other owners / HOA members and the PM and the felons resigned.

A million dollars is a lot of cash to risk getting into the wrong hands.

Good luck
MichaelK28
(Maryland)

Posts:3


03/31/2021 7:35 AM  
unfortunately they are already intimidating people not to vote.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:790


03/31/2021 7:50 AM  
The 2 States (California and Texas)that I have been on boards had a question on the generic form that all candidates must sign and submit that asks if you have been convicted of a Felony. I personally have never seen anyone check that box or try to run.

Most Builders the Declarant are pretty protective of the Community they are exiting. Many times they still have unsold homes that will need buyers. That is who should be giving you direction on this matter. It is scary to me that you say you have 3 Felons running for office. How many total candidates are also running?
MichaelK28
(Maryland)

Posts:3


03/31/2021 8:07 AM  
Only 3 running and all 3 are violent felons.
ND
(PA)

Posts:591


03/31/2021 8:07 AM  
If I were you and I had my facts straight, I would do what I thought was needed to appropriately protect my investment. That would include trying to ensure questionable people are not the ones in charge of making important decisions that have direct impact on my investment (my home/property) and my money (HOA assessments I pay).

Things I may consider:
- Making factual info accessible to neighbors who may otherwise be unaware.
- Allowing the grapevine to do its thing with the factual info.
- Running in the election myself and/or ensuring good candidates are running in the election.
- Advocate strongly for the good candidates in the election (does not mean you have to negatively campaign against he questionable ones).
- Help to educate my neighbors on their rights as voters to thwart any intimidation that may be going on.

You can do much of the above as anonymously as you may need or want to do.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:790


03/31/2021 8:20 AM  
ND,
The scary fact that only 3 candidates are running for the 3 spots means that an election is not even required. They will be elected by default.

I would consider moving if that ever were to happen in my HOA.
ND
(PA)

Posts:591


03/31/2021 8:47 AM  
Posted By MarkM19 on 03/31/2021 8:20 AM
ND,
The scary fact that only 3 candidates are running for the 3 spots means that an election is not even required. They will be elected by default.

I would consider moving if that ever were to happen in my HOA.



Yeah, saw that post after I submitted mine. At this point, I'm not sure I entirely understand the current situation or status of things. Not sure if the OP knows either.

Is this for HOA Board of Directors elections? Or is there an existing Board and these persons are being selected for Officer positions? OP indicated the "3 Violent felons running for President, Treasurer and Secretary". Those aren't positions one typically "runs" for. You run for a position on the Board of Directors and then the Board among themselves selects Officers (Pres, VP, Treasurer, Secretary).

Is the ballot already set in stone? Are the 3 felons the only options for votes? If so, work like heck to postpone the election . . . call a special meeting, prepare/route a petition, or otherwise do anything that's needed to halt the election process so that more candidates can be found.

Is there still time to add names to the ballot? If so, work like heck to get at least 3 others involved who are willing to be on the Board. Campaign for those 3 others to ensure their victory over the 3 felons.

If you don't want the 3 felons to get elected, do whatever is needed to prevent/postpone the election. Simpler to do that than to allow the election to occur and they try to overthrow/oust the Board.
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