Another director is purged

In late August 2014, just weeks after the Brown vs YRCC 818 appeal decision was released, another condominium director in the GTA was removed from his condo board.

This director, who I will called John, was the president of the board and he thought it would be in the condo's best interest if they changed property management companies.

At the AGM, held this spring, three new directors were elected and all three favour keeping the current management company. The new board elected a new president from one of newly elected directors.

John had two concerns. First, the new directors were in tight with the property management company. Secondly, John thought that something was wrong with the election results. He asked the administrator (an assistant manager) to let him look at the ballots and the proxies. The total number did not add up to the same total as what was announced by the chair at the AGM.

John starting thinking of requisitioning an owners meeting to remove the three newly elected directors. He went as far as to talk to a couple of owners about this before giving up on the idea. Naturally, the management company and the rest of the board got wind of this.

There were disagreements at the board meetings. The board is going to install some carpets and the  property manager added a $3,000+ item to the costs to pay for an engineering company to insure that the carpet laying company does a proper job. Of course John thinks that is a waste of money as the carpet company should warranty their workmanship.

The directors agreed with John and yet the minutes of the next meeting state that the board agreed to hire the engineering company.

The buildup
At the May or June board meeting, a resolution was passed stating that the board members could audio-record the proceedings, despite there being a professional minute taker, so there would be no disagreements in the future what were the actual words used by the participants.

John went along with this, indeed he thought that this may be a good idea.

By this time, John noticed that he was no longer included in e-mail strings being sent to all the directors and the management team. he was just receiving the last e-mailing at the end of the strings.

At the beginning of June, the other four directors sent John a letter stating that:

he was being disruptive at the board meetings.
after a decision has been made at a board meeting, he must stop telephoning and e-mailing the other directors trying to get a decision changed.
On his own, he was asking for quotes from contractors.
they were informed by an owner that he was talking about board decisions that were not yet published in approved board minutes.
This owner also told the board that he was soliciting support for a requisition to remove directors from the board.
The letter ended with the warning that if John chooses "not to abide by the Director Code of Ethics, we will have to alternative but to undertake further action as necessary to ensure your compliance."

At the June board meeting, a director brought up an issue of satellite dishes. John and two other owners had them on their top floor terraces.

They were installed by the developer and John's was there when he bought the unit and it was not installed by him. It was agreed that two of the three dishes could remain as they could not been seen by other owners.

At the July board meeting, there is a review of the directors' qualifications in the by-laws and all the directors were requested to sign a fresh copy of the Code of Ethics.

Later that month, John's wife goes down to see the administrator as there is a water leak coming from the boiler room above their ceiling. The administrator tells her that he does not want to talk to her as she has been rude to him, just like her husband, and therefore she should talk to the manager.

When John asks the administrator why he never mentioned that he was rude to him before, the administrator repeats that he didn't want to talk to him about it and referred him to the manager.

Despite all these obvious signs of an upcoming showdown, John did not catch on that the other directors and the management company was collecting statements from the administrator, each other and from an owner, a friend of the new president, in preparation of kicking him off the board.

Pulling the trigger
The agenda for the August board meeting listed Ethics Review as the second item. A week before the meeting, the manager hand delivered an agenda package to John at his apartment.

John was pre-occupied with a serious family problem that was taking up all this time and thoughts. He did not open the package until a day before the board meeting. He was surprised to see that he will be facing an Ethics Review the following evening. Attached was a list of 15 violations of the Code of Ethics and seven seven supporting statements.

The Ethics review
John showed up at the August board meeting to find the corporation lawyer was going to chair the meeting. There was a minute taker present.

When he stated he was going to audio record his ethics review, she refused to allow him to do so.

When he asked for the meeting to be adjourned until he was represented by a lawyer, that too was refused.

The lawyer read out the alleged violations. There were 15 charges. There were seven written complaints from the management company, one from a director and one from an owner.

When John said that he did not know that they were going to hold an ethics review and it was unfair, the lawyer ignored him.

One accusation was that John had an illegal satellite dish on his terrace. John asked if that was a violation of the Code of Ethics and the lawyer said yes because it violated the rules.

A director and the district manager told her to put it aside.

The lawyer got frustrated when John was defending himself. Twice she banged on the table. John asked her if she was trying to intimidate him. At one point she said: "God damn you." She then stated: "I said God damn it, not God damn you."

At one point the lawyer said: "You do not belong in this community". John asked what did she mean. She replied that you just do not belong in this community. You are not the kind of person who should live here.

After the lawyer finished, the president told John: "You better resign now because if the board kicks you out, you will never be able ever to run for the board."

John asked the lawyer if she agreed with the president's statement. She replied: "I am not your lawyer. You should ask your lawyer."

The notice
A couple days after John was removed from the board, the president had a notice posted on all the condo's bulletin boards stating that John was removed from the board, by an unanimous vote of all the other directors, for violating the Director's Code of Ethics more than three times.

After getting kicked off the board, John hired a lawyer that is experienced in condominium law. He will be reviewing his options.

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