Las Vegas, NV - October 09, 2012
The Nevada Commission for
Common-Interest Communities and Condominium Hotels (CICCH) yesterday took
unprecedented action to remove the entire three person executive board of the
Autumn Chase Homeowners Association (HOA) board, effective immediately.
The Real Estate Division of the
Department of Business & Industry brought the case against Joseph Bitsky,
Barbara Bitsky and Hellen Murphy to hearing before the Commission, alleging
that the respondents knowingly and willfully committed multiple violations of
state law. Violations included failure
to prepare financial statements as required, acting outside of the scope of
their authority as provided by the homeowners association’s governing documents,
failure to conduct board elections, and retaliating against unit owners for making
a complaint to the Real Estate Division.
The Division also alleged that the
Bitskys failed to act in the best interest of the association when they used
the homeowners association’s operating account and credit card for their own
personal enrichment 148 times amounting to the improper use of more than
$10,000 of association funds.
The Commission found that Joseph
Bitsky and Barbara Bitsky had committed a total of 248 and 261 violations of
state law respectively and were ordered to pay administrative fines totaling
$82,600, pay restitution to the homeowners association of $10,312.83 and reimburse the state for the cost of the investigation and hearing totaling $22,884.40.
The Bitskys were given 6 months to pay all fines and fees. In addition, the Bitskys are precluded indefinitely
from serving on an HOA board within the State of Nevada.
The Commission declined to impose
administrative fines or fees against Hellen Murphy citing concerns that she too
was a victim of the Bitskys. However, she
is also precluded from serving on an HOA board within the State of Nevada
The Bitskys were ordered to
immediately surrender the association’s credit card and turn over all
association records to the Real Estate Division’s Ombudsman’s Office for
safekeeping until a new board of directors is installed.
unprecedented action- to remove all board members from a homeowner association
board, to ensure the protection of association documents and accounts and to
facilitate an election of a new board- was necessary in this instance to
protect the interests of all owners in this association”
said Real Estate Division Administrator Gail Anderson. “The unit owners of Autumn Chase HOA will be
given an opportunity to elect a new board and, under the professional guidance
of a licensed community manager, operate the association in compliance with
state law and their governing documents.”
Johnson, Director of the State Department of Business & Industry, praised
the Real Estate Division and the CICCH for their bold actions. “This is the
first time the State has taken the extraordinary step of removing an HOA’s
board for violating the law,” said Johnson. “It is critically important that
homeowners associations operate with transparency and accountability in carrying
out their duties.”