QUESTION: What can be done, if anything, if a candidate includes qualifications in his/her election biography that are not genuine? What if they are elected?
ANSWER: When candidates puff their resumes or lie about their background, board members, candidates and homeowners can point out the false statements to anyone who will listen. This is no different than political campaigns for city council, governor or president.
Equal Access. Board members have a right to campaign the same as anyone else. However, they must do so at their own expense. If the board were to use the association's newsletter or website to campaign, they must provide equal access to everyone who has an opinion on the matter.
Post Election. If the candidate succeeds in lying his way onto the board, fellow directors cannot remove him/her for lying unless it has to do with their qualifications to be a director as found in the bylaws. For example, he/she is a convicted felon or a non-owner and the bylaws require candidates to be owners and non-felons. If that were to happen, fellow directors could immediately remove the person from the board. In addition, the membership can remove directors at any time with or without cause. If someone lies and gets elected, the membership has two options: (i) wait until the next election and vote the person out of office or (ii) mount a recall campaign.
ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.