Improper Board Vote Approves Payment of President’s Legal Costs

At the July 2014 BOD meeting, former Directors Buhl and Pfeifer were late to the Executive Session.  To hold a meeting and/or vote, a quorum of two-thirds must be present (4 of the 6 board members at the time).  Since Treasurer Burguieres resigned in early July, former President Thompson and three Directors were presentA motion was passed to approve Association funds to pay for legal representation for President Thompson in a potential dispute resolution with another board member.  Wait a minute!  Shouldn’t the President recuse herself from a vote that allocates Association funds for her legal defense?  Oops!  Then there would have been only three votes – no quorum – to allow her to use the Association funds like it’s her own checkbook!  Can you spell I-L-L-E-G-A-L  procedure?  How about potential M-I-S-A-P-P-R-O-P-R-I-A-T-I-O-N of funds?

How did this happen?  Several times this year, former Director Pfeifer requested copies of records and financial documents regarding budget overruns, which were denied, even though the Association By-Laws allow all Directors record inspection rights.  Some of these documents were eventually provided after plenty of wrangling with the President, 4 Board Members, Community Manager, HOAMCO executives, Association Attorney, and a Sheriff’s Deputy (See Who Called the Sheriff in March)!

The most recent incident of records denial involved the request of legal communications regarding an improper action taken against former Director Buhl in 2013.  After this request was denied, Director Pfeifer filed a Dispute Resolution request against President Thompson, in an effort to resolve the matter without spending association funds on attorney fees.  He was following the Charter and ByLaws. Unfortunately, former President Thompson, contacted the Association Attorney again without board approval, which started another round of Association expenditures on attorney fees, adding to an already overrun budget.

Former Director Pfeifer tried to follow the Dispute Resolution Process which opts for a Mediator, a much less costly route.  Instead, former President Thompson and Association Attorney Krupnik derailed his efforts through delaying tactics and telling a potential mediator that the board voted to cover the President’s mediation costs, but not Director Pfeifer’s.  Hmmmm.  What’s wrong with this picture?  The Association Attorney who is supposed to be representing the Association is now also representing the Board President who has been violating Association ByLaws.

What is a Director to do in the face of such obvious corruption?  After contacting outside attorneys at their own cost, former Directors Buhl and Pfeifer were given two options: 1) Use their own personal funds to obtain a court injunction to force the President and Board to follow the ByLaws, or 2) Inform residents of what is going on, so they can VOTE FOR CHANGE at the Annual Meeting.

There you have it folks.  It’s up to you!   Get involved and demand accountability.  The BOD will be making many decisions regarding infrastructure and irrigation on your behalf – some of these decisions will include increases in assessments.

For more details, click here: Dispute Summary

Update: At the September 23, 2014 BOD meeting, President Thompson and Director Houston denied the improper vote despite proof in a letter sent to Director Pfeifer by the Association Attorney – and a discussion with a potential mediator who said the BOD refused to pay for Director Pfeifer’s costs as well as the President’s.   None of this discussion was included in the official BOD minutes.
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8 responses to “Improper Board Vote Approves Payment of President’s Legal Costs

  1. Corruption of the worst kind, the president of this association should be removed!

  2. So, our HOA fees are going to pay the RVS attorney’s fee to represent Carol Thompson as an individual, am I right? This constitutes a conflict of interest by the attorney! And if the RVS board also voted NOT to pay director Pfeifer’s legal fees though he filed the dispute as a board director and as a result of bylaw violations by Carol, that definitely shows that special interests are the order of the day, not the common good. WHY did the board vote for us homeowners to pay Carol’s legal fees but NOT director Pfeifer’s? Will we now also be paying Carol’s utility bills, her car insurance, her mortgage, etc out of association funds?.

  3. Ivan: The president is running for re-election this year. Everyone please help us get the word out about her actions so she is not re-elected. Talk to your neighbors and inform them of what is going on. RVS cannot survive another two years of the current president. Whatever her agenda is, it does not include the best interests of RVS residents.

  4. So the author of this piece knows this because they are one of the board members that voted to pay for President Thompson’s legal fees? Maybe? If not one of those four board members present during this alleged vote, how does the author know any of this? If not one of those four board members present during this alleged vote, what proof does the author have of any of these allegations? Perhaps they really don’t know anything and just want revenge for something?

  5. To “Lynn Houston”: So you are worried about who posted the information, and NOT the illegal proceedings that are finally coming to light. The board is supposed to serve residents, and it certainly sounds like a conflict of interest when the attorney, who is paid by homeowner fees and is supposed to represent the association, chooses to provide paid legal services, at resident expense, to the board president who violated the bylaws (thus causing the problem in the first place) but not to the director who filed the dispute resolution request. We need a NEW board president AND a new attorney!

  6. Here is as cruel joke, a ludicrous situation. Carol Thompson, who now is a great liability as President of RV South and whose behavior in that role is morally and ethically questionable, is a member of the Ethics Board of Santa Fe County. Look at–

    http://www.santafecountynm.gov/committees/county_ethics_board

    Glen Smerage

    • Posted by Moderator for ekerr22@gmail.com:
      I’m getting reports about the verbal attach on Carol Thompson by Glen Smerage after the Board Meeting on Tuesday. Maybe now you can understand the reason the Board has asked the Sheriff to attend these meetings. The Board is always accused of doing something wrong and this is another reason they need to hire election officials to count ballots so our Board doesn’t get accused of doing something illegal. I think Carol Thompson deserves an apology from Glen Smerage!!! This will probably never get posted but thank you for letting me vent!

  7. I was at the board meeting, and I assure you that If anyone deserves an apology, it’s Glen. He didn’t attack Carol Thompson. What happened was that while Glen was addressing the board during resident comments, several board members got up from their seats and started side conversations with each other. I was having conversation with Mr. Zipprich (also inappropriate, since Glen was still addressing the board- sorry, Glen!), the overall noise level was raising exponentially, and it was very difficult for Glen to be heard. Why the board chose to disrespect him by getting out of their seats is unknown by all EXCEPT the people who exhibited that behavior. Had Glen been given respect as a speaker, he would not have had to raise his voice to be heard. He simply could not be heard amidst the general cacophony.

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