** FRAUD ALERT: The check and the invoice have the same date **
Being on a board of directors can have its privileges. This landscaping situation at Edgewater Isle Homeowners Association illustrates a perfect example of how an unscrupulous board member, along with a complicit board of directors, use homeowners association money to benefit a single person:
Kelly McGuirk* is unsatisfied with her landscaping, so she asks the then-Board of Directors to replant it.
Meeting minutes show that McGuirk's request is specifically denied.
Kelly McGuirk* then joins Board of Directors in a meeting without a quorum (not a valid meeting) and proceeds to make inroads into the landscaping world by cleverly becoming Landscaping Chairperson and get her coveted new landscaping. (Good job: now go get yourself a Starbucks grande mocha on the Association's tab.)
Excerpted Meeting Minutes
Minutes below are excerpted verbatim from the Edgewater Isle Homeowners Association official meeting minutes.
1. Start Going to Meetings
August 14, 2001
Landscape: Management presented a letter from Owner McGuirk* asking about being on the Landscape Committee. Charlotte R. advised that the Committee meets on Fridays at 10:00 AM by the pond and Ms. McGuirk was welcome to attend.
Discussion about landscaping in general was held and it was reiterated that only emergencies are being dealt with at this time due to financial constraints and the unknowns of the Building 18 reconstruction.
2. Get Yourself on the Board 2 Months Later
Be Sure There Isn't a Legal Quorum at the Meeting When You're Appointed
October 10, 2001
Appointment of New Director: Upon motion duly made by Charlotte R., seconded by Barbara R. and unanimously carried, Kelly McGuirk* was appointed to the Board of Directors.
A. Landscape: ....Kelly McGuirk* asked about the landscaping in her area and was advised that due to financial constraints the Board was only spending money on areas where a safety or muddy ground issues exists.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: That is the same thing Kelly McGuirk* was told 2 months earlier.
Also, meeting minutes show there was not a quorum at this meeting when Kelly McGuirk was appointed.
3. Push Your Own Agenda
SMOKING GUN HERE:
November 13, 2001
A. Landscape: The Board reviewed a proposal from Greener Gardening for the conversion of the landscaping by 1670 Via Laguna to lawn for $2,075.00. It was noted that this proposal was too costly to entertain at this time. Charlotte R. will discuss re-landscaping the muddy areas with Greener Gardening. The thatching proposal from Greener Gardening was also reviewed and deemed too expensive to undertake at this time....
EDITORIAL COMMENT: Isn't that the same thing she's been told twice now? Two and three months earlier?
4. Volunteer to be the "Landscape Chair"
May 14, 2002
Discussion was held on the Landscape Committee. For the present, the committee will continue to meet as scheduled (third Friday of every month, weather permitting). Kelly McGuirk* volunteered to write the committee charge. ***HOMEOWNER NAME*** inquired about areas needing re-landscaping and was advised that except for life safety issues, planting would be postponed until after the reconstruction of Building 18 was completed.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: Oh good move. No one is paying any attention to what's happened for the past few months, are they?
5. Get Fancy New Lawn Installed Anyway: Everyone Is Asleep at the Wheel
EDITORIAL COMMENT: See the lines in the brand new sod?
January 20, 2003
Grounds and Landscape: Gutter Cleaning has been completed. The Landscape Maintenance Contract was re-negotiated by Kelly McGuirk* and the paperwork will be forthcoming. The Board expressed its appreciation for Kelly’s work on this project.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: Landscape contract was "re-negotiated" by the same person who got a free lawn? Conflict of interest? Self-dealing transaction?
6. Oh No, The Homeowners Are Catching On
Stall When Homeowner Requests Records
I would also like to see the check register for the past 12 months,
7. Cover Misdeeds with a Clever Invoice
Have your friends at the landscaping company, the same ones who provided you with the unapproved lawn, to rewrite the invoice to match your version of events. And they do it!
Why is this an invoice for the same work that was expressly proposed and denied on November 13, 2001? What changed? Meeting minutes for the previous 3 years do not show any mention or discussion of any type of "future project designing." Why did it go in the front of Kelly McGuirk's house, the same person who presented the BOD with the same landscaping proposal? Management company DID NOT provide a single document supporting this change.
Why couldn't Pelican Management Company find this invoice when it was first requested? Why did it take another 2 weeks for them to "find" this invoice?
THIS IS BOARD-SANCTIONED FRAUD AND THEFT.
7. Sign The Check Yourself
Kelly McGuirk* signed the check for her own lawn that was very specifically not approved.
And, this check has the same date as the invoice. Why is that?
8. If Any Homeowner Raises Questions, Call Them From Work and Hang Up
Photos of phone showing Kelly McGuirk called from her work location. (How did she get my phone number? I didn't give it to her. From Association records?)
9. Have Your Board Friends Dodge Bullets with Obfuscation Techniques
Sherry, et al. -- I am following up with my meeting with you and Milena on 8/20/2003 regarding landscaping issues. Your email dated 8/1/2003 states that you would not provide documentation because those "documents are beyond the scope of what the board has long determined to be subject to inspection rights." I asked for clarification of that policy "What long standing policy? Where is that written? How is that not in contradiction to that listed above?" I have not received a reply to those questions. However, at our meeting on 8/20/2003, you and Milena provided me a copy of the check I had been requesting for two months. You also said that you would not provide any further documentation I may request because of two legal opinions you have received on this matter. I would like copies of those legal opinions.
You also said that on the landscaping matter, a homeowner/board member paid out of pocket for landscaping work. I would like a copy of the cancelled check showing that. You also said that the homeowner/board member had "used bad judgment," and asked me what I would like you to do about it. I said that I could not respond at that time. At this point, I have two proposed solutions. One I will document in email, and the other I will discuss off-line. My first proposed solution is that space in the monthly newsletter be allotted to print homeowner concerns. Homeowners' comments would clearly be labeled as their opinion, much as a "Letters to the Editor" section of a newspaper. I would like to contribute a "Letter to the Editor" to be printed in the newsletter. My second proposal can be discussed at a later date.
Subj: RE: June EWN Board Meeting - Landscape Inquiry
Ms. Mallett -- I have followed the required protocol under California Corporations Code 8333; the Restated Edgewater Isle Homeowners Association Bylaws, Article X, Section 10.1; and the Enabling Declaration Establishing a Plan for Condominium Ownership, Section 8.6 A in requesting inspection of documents. Your email of 8/1/2003 states that "some of those documents are beyond the scope of what the board has long determined to be subject to inspection rights." What long-standing policy? Where is that written? How is that not in contradiction to that listed above? The Edgewater Isle North Homeowners' Association "Policy on Inspection and Copying of Association Records" dated April 21, 2003, does not exclude the requested document. If you believe it does, I would like to know why.
In a message dated 8/1/2003 6:15:19 PM Eastern Standard Time, "Mallett, Sherry" <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
We apologize for our delay in responding to the concerns you expressed at the June board meeting over some landscaping done in the area of 1650-1670 Via Laguna. At that time we told you that the board is soon to approve a landscape policy by which owners will be offered the option of paying for grass or other approved landscaping. The area you referenced is a good example of how the new policy might be applied. Your concerns are noted and we will address them shortly.
Relating to this same topic, we understand you have received documents from our management company. Some of those documents are beyond the scope of what the board has long determined to be subject to inspection rights. That said, we wanted you to know that going-forward we have advised Pelican to adhere to our policy.
Thank you for your understanding.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: Sherry Mallett's 8/1/2003 statement of the board's "long standing policy" was never substantiated with such a policy. Sherry Mallett lied. Such a "policy" would have been in violation of California Civil Code §1365.02 anyhow.
10. Hide Your Misdeeds Under the Cover of "Executive Session"
September 15, 2003
Grounds and Landscape: As Kelly McGuirk* was absent from the meeting, she will be asked to bring the board up to date on the status of the landscape policy.
There being no further business to come before the Board and upon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the meeting was adjourned at 8:37 P.M. An Executive Session was held to discuss delinquent accounts, resolution of the landscape issue around the area of 1670 Via Laguna and the completion of Building 18.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: Landscaping is not defined within as a California Civil Code §4935 topic covered under Executive Session. Even your lawyer knows this is bullshit.
11. Emerge Unscathed Because Board Buddies Will Lie
October 20, 2003
Grounds and Landscape: Kelly McGuirk distributed a Landscape Policy. Sherry Mallett will work with the committee on verbiage for the policy before it is sent to Kevin Frederick for review....
As shown above, in email of August 27, 2003, a copy of the check showing this "board member/homeowner" paid for this cost herself was requested. Sherry Mallett lied that the Association was reimbursed. In 18+ years, they never provided the proof because there is no "proof."
The end of this story is that this board member got herself a new lawn after it was expressly denied. Concurrently, other homeowners went without landscape improvements for years. Edgewater Isle Homeowners Association (Board of Directors) has taken efforts to conceal this from homeowners and has not been forthcoming with requests for information about this. The Edgewater Isle Board of Directors was complicit in the fraud as they knew of it and breached their fiduciary duty to homeowners.
This story is a perfect example of how an association can and does bullshit and outright lie to homeowners, making it up on the fly ("beyond our long-standing policy" that never existed and is contrary to California law). Owners need to see this and know their board of directors can and does lie to you. Sherry Mallett is a liar. Own it.
*Kelly McGuirk is a Convicted Felon
After these events, and after this story was first written over ten years ago, we learned that Kelly McGuirk has multiple felony convictions for theft, among other misdemeanor convictions for theft.