Q&A: Greasing the Vote?

Q. We have a board member who goes to owners to fill out proxy votes so the elderly vote for him. This person also pays for 100 owners to have a dinner at the clubhouse to win votes. He has been doing this for years, with no repercussions from the president or anyone on the board. Is this bribery legal? Shouldn’t the person be removed from the board? Please advise.

— Resident Who Thinks This Is Unfair

A. “Politics, politics, politics. It does make the world go ‘round, and the world of community associations is no exception,” says Richard Larsen, Founder and Senior Attorney at the law firm of Larsen & Associates, P.L., located in Orlando, Jacksonville, Sarasota, and Daytona. “But, is the solicitation of proxies and the wining and dining of association members to get elected to the board ‘illegal bribery’ under the law in Florida?

“The simple answer is ‘no.’ Under 

Florida law, the type of activity this reader illustrates is not, from a legal standpoint, bribery — nor is it an activity that is against the laws of Florida.

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