DEFENDANT GEORGE R. SIMPSON’S RESPONSE TO

PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT – THIRD AMENDED ANSWWER

Contained herein is Defendant’s Statement 3rd amended to Defendant’s Answer dated May 26, 2004.

AMENDED DEFENDANT’S STATEMENT STARTING AT

PARAGRAPH # 66

THE PREVIOUS STATEMENT ENDED WITH PARAGRAPH # 65

  1. On or about May 20, 2004, the Board of Directors of Sapphire Bay Condominiums West distributed the Minutes of their Board meeting of March 17, 2004 to over 100 owners of Condo units at Sapphire Bay Condominiums West. Those Minutes contained many statements which could only have been intended to damage and defame me and my wife. The meeting was attended by thirty SBCW Owners who were not Directors. The Minutes are attached as Defendant’s Exhibit 8.
  2. The following paragraphs discuss the contents of Defendant’s Exhibit 8.
  3. The meeting began with the reading into the Minutes of a letter from Board Member, Steve Sokolow, titled "To the Board of SBCW:". There can be no question that the Sokolow letter was written, not for the Board of Directors of Sapphire Bay Condominiums West, but to discredit and defame me and my wife before the 30 non-director owners at the meeting, and the more than 100 owners, who received the Minutes by mail.
  4. Steve Sokolow starts out his letter preaching about the By-laws and lying about events relating to my application for window change.
  5. "It is the responsibility of an owner to understand the bylaws, rules and regulations of the association, and familiarize themselves with the document and its meaning before proceeding with alterations to their unit. Logic would dictate that a new or prospective owner would do this before closing on a unit. These documents are readily available in the manager’s office.

    Occasionally, or I should say rarely, a new owner purchases an apartment in the Condo who chooses or wishes not to conform to the rules and regulations and the bylaws of the association, or chooses to use them for their own purposes and selectively. We are faced with such a situation now.

    Mr. George Simpson, in spite of every attempt by various Board members and the Manager to explain that his request was rejected and why, has not listened to the explanation. I might add that this was done verbally, and in writing, by a Board member who in the letter to him used the term "vote" improperly and later corrected it in a conversation. Mr. Simpson refuses to accept this fact.

    He has out and out rejected all logic, up to and including a number of letters from the association’s attorney, advising him not to proceed with the work".

  6. Mr. Sokolow, in his opening statement is insisting that I did not read or understand the By-laws of the Condo, when I did read and understand the By-laws. It is Mr. Sokolow, the other Board members, and the Board’s lawyer who appear not to have read the By-laws or not to understand the By-laws. I, like all other Condo owners, have a contract with the other owners – called "the By-laws and Rules and Regulations". The Condominium Law of the USVI covers my responsibilities to other owners and to follow the By-laws/Rules and Regulations. Mr. Sokolow’s insulting preaching could only be for the purpose of discrediting and defaming me and my wife before the 30 non-director owners at the meeting, and the more than 100 owners, who received the Minutes by mail.
  7. Then Mr. Sokolow paints the insulting picture of me as the "rare" individual who "chooses or wishes not to conform to the rules and regulations and the bylaws of the association, or chooses to use them for their own purposes and selectively". Mr. Sokolow provides no evidence in his letter that supports his negative statements about me. I followed the By-laws to the letter. I requested a change in my window style in writing, and waited 30 days for an answer from the Board. When no answer came within 30 days I ordered the replacement windows to be installed, since the By-laws say that if an answer is not obtained within 30 days, approval is automatic. Even after the 30 days, the Board has never been able to show that there was a vote on the window request, and they have never shown that there was a written notification to me of that decision. Furthermore, the Board of SBCW is not a Board as defined by the By-laws of SBCW, since it had, and has a member, Steven Kerschner, who is not qualified, according to the By-laws, to be a Director. For 8 years he was lying about his ownership of his Mother’s condo unit. The By-laws require that there be 5 Directors. There are only 4 Directors, since Steven Kerscher, was, for 8 years, not qualified. These untrue statements by Steve Sokolow could only have been used for the purpose of discrediting and defaming me and my wife before the 30 non-director owners at the meeting, and the more than 100 owners, who received the Minutes by mail.
  8. Mr. Sokolow refers to "this was done verbally, and in writing, by a Board member who in the letter to him used the term ‘vote’ improperly and later corrected it in a conversation". The probable letter he refers to, written by a Board member dated November 28, 2003 and received in early December, 2003, is supposedly what the Board claims is the written denial of my window replacement approval request, required by the By-laws. But the letter was received substantially after the 30 days required for an answer by the By-laws. Furthermore, the letter was unsigned, and the letter contained the statement that there had been a unanimous negative vote, which was a lie. Jack Donohue, who said he typed the letter, told me he had been told to lie in the letter. This lie in the letter about a "vote" was never corrected by the Board, and in fact was compounded by the December 3, 2003 letter from the Board’s attorney who said the Board had "unanimously denied" the request, when no vote was taken at the meeting. The minutes of the November 10, 2003 Board meeting contain no statement about a vote by the Board on the question, only that the question was tabled, and, moreover, the 30 day period had already passed by the time that meeting was held. These untrue statements by Steve Sokolow could only have been used for the purpose of discrediting and defaming me and my wife before the 30 non-director owners at the meeting, and the more than 100 owners, who received the Minutes by mail.
  9. Mr. Sokolow continues:
  10. "He has out and out rejected all logic, up to and including a number of letters from the association’s attorney, advising him not to proceed with the work."

  11. No member of the Board, nor the Board’s attorney, has presented a credible scenario for why they think I have been denied approval for the replacement windows. Mr. Sokolow is only blurting out insulting statements without any foundation or substance. The letters from the association attorney were dishonest, and I have pointed that out in writing to the Board of Directors. The attorney has been so dishonest that I have filed a Grievance with the VI Bar to have him disbarred. Mr. Sokolow’s statement could only have been used for the purpose of discrediting and defaming me and my wife before the 30 non-director owners at the meeting, and the more than 100 owners, who received the Minutes by mail.
  12. Steve Sokolow continues:
  13. "He insists that he has been given approval and that the Board is "a bunch of thugs, and liars, the association lawyer is a liar and should be disbarred, the manager is part of a conspiracy. He continues the harassment of certain Board members."

  14. I do insist that I have been given approval for the window change, due to the passage of 30 days without word from the Board. My position on that has been quite clear all along. I have never called the Board "a bunch of thugs". I have said that one of the board members, Jack Donohue, said he lied (and was told to do so) in a letter to me, where he said there had been a unanimous vote, when there had been no vote at all. I said in a letter to the Board of Directors, that the association lawyer had been dishonest and lied, and I pointed out where he had done so. I have said that the association lawyer should be disbarred, and I have filed a formal grievance form to that end, attached as Defendant’s Exhibit 9. The Grievance form, Exhibit 9, submitted to the VI Bar Association details my claims of dishonesty by the Board’s attorney. Mr. Sokolow does not present the facts. I have never accused the manager of being "part of a conspiracy." I believe that "a conspiracy" is beyond his intellectual capacity. I have never harassed any Board member. I have communicated in writing with the Board stating my outrage at the dishonesty of the Board’s lawyer, and my outrage at the dishonesty of each Board member for their acceptance of the dishonest position of the Board’s attorney. It is my right and duty to do so. These untrue statements by Steve Sokolow could only have been used for the purpose of discrediting and defaming me and my wife before the 30 non-director owners at the meeting, and the more than 100 owners, who received the Minutes by mail.
  15. Mr Sokolow continues:
  16. "This vitriolic and uncalled for action is not in keeping with someone who has agreed to become part of a community organization (SBCW). Because his request was rejected by the board, he has gone on a campaign to verbally assassinate the board, the condo association’s attorney and the manager. In spite of written confirmation from the association’s attorney as to the legality of the board’s action and insisting that the individual cease and desist from directing his comments and letters to the board members, Mr. Simpson continues to ignore these facts."

  17. I know of no "vitriolic and uncalled for action". I did not agree to become a part of "a community organization (SBCW)", I bought a Condo unit and do, and will abide by the By-laws of the Condo Association and the Condominium Law of the USVI. My request (for window change) was not rejected according to the By-laws. I have not gone on a campaign to verbally assassinate the Board, the condo association’s attorney and the manager". I think the Board and the manager have been very dishonest, defaming, and law breaking and I have pointed out the situations of each in writing to the Board. Each of the five Board members has forbidden me from examining the books, which is my right under the Condominium Law of the USVI. In writing, Board members said it was on advice from their attorney that they denied me my right to examine the books and records of the Condominium Association. I have tried to get the Board’s attorney disbarred. I have written in a letter to the Board, that if it was determined that Frank Barry was a party to the dishonesty surrounding my window request, he should be fired. I believe the manager, Frank Barry, should be fired, because he functions illegally as a building contractor, without license. He has hired an unlicensed electrician, Rupert Burt, to perform work (hundreds of times) which, by law, should be performed by a licensed electrician. (Even after Frank Barry was warned by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources not to hire this electrician, I saw Rupert Burt on the property of Sapphire Bay Condominiums West on May 25, 2004). Frank Barry allowed construction, electrical, and plumbing work to be performed without the permits, which were required by law – hundreds of times, over a period of 10 or 15 years. He takes 12 weeks vacation, when he is only due 4 weeks. Frank Barry does not follow the By-laws, and he does not require that other owners adhere to the By-laws. He knowingly hired illegal aliens, when he knew it was against the law to do so. Frank Barry knew that Director and Board President Steven Kerschner was not an owner or spouse of an owner, which would disqualify Mr. Kerschner from being a Director and Board President, yet Frank Barry enabled Mr. Kerschner to continue to lie to the other owners and other Directors, saying he was an owner. I believe it is my right, indeed my duty, to try to get the attorney disbarred and the manager fired. No Director or attorney can tell me "to desist from directing his comments and letters to the board members" or anyone else. Directors are supposed to get letters from owners; that goes with the territory. These untrue statements by Mr. Sokolow could only have been used for the purpose of discrediting and defaming me and my wife before the 30 non-director owners at the meeting, and the more than 100 owners, who received the Minutes by mail.
  18. Steve Sokolow continues on with four more paragraphs wrongly stating what the Board did to "reject" my request for window change, and insulting and defaming me. These statements by Mr. Sokolow are evil statements of a person who is deliberately and irrationally trying to destroy me. These statements could only have been used for the purpose of discrediting and defaming me and my wife before the 30 non-director owners at the meeting, and the more than 100 owners, who received the Minutes by mail.
  19. In the next paragraph, Mr. Sokolow says:
  20. "The board, correctly so, evaluated the request in keeping with the bylaws and regulations of the association. The board rejected his request because of the fact that his request would not conform to the look of the buildings."

  21. The Board did not "evaluate the request in keeping with the By-laws." The Board had no right to reject my request, since they passed up the 30 day period following my request submittal. According to the By-laws if an answer is not received within 30 days, it is automatic approval. The window replacements I substituted for the obsolete, water/heat leaking jalousie windows do not look significantly different from other fronts of apartments, which have screens or open fronts. This untrue statement by Mr. Sokolow could only have been used for the purpose of discrediting and defaming me and my wife before the 30 non-director owners at the meeting, and the more than 100 owners, who received the Minutes by mail.
  22. Mr. Sokolow continues:
  23. "Mr. Simpson selectively requests permission when it suits his purpose and ignores the rules when it suits his purpose. He, without requesting permission, removed the interior wall of his apartment. More significantly, he has impacted the structural integrity of the buiilding, which the board will insist he restore."

  24. I did get permission. Manager, Frank Barry, recommended the contractor used to remove the wall. During August, 2003, when the wall was removed, Frank Barry witnessed the removal, coming into the apartment many times. He never told me that removal of the wall was a problem. The first I heard of it was at the March 17, 2004 Board meeting, when Mr. Sokolow insulted me and my wife in front of 30 non-director owners. The By-laws require that notices be given to owners in writing, not blurted out at a public meeting. This statement by Mr. Sokolow could only have been used for the purpose of discrediting and defaming me and my wife before the 30 non-director owners at the meeting, and the more than 100 owners, who received the Minutes by mail.
  25. Mr. Sokolow continues:
  26. "In a condo association, we would expect that the individual owners would understand that the board’s job is to ensure, among other things, that we maintain a consistent look to our buildings. When an individual has become so obsessed with the board’s action, it is time for him to think that he may be in the wrong place."

  27. The Board has a job as defined by the By-laws. If the job of the Board was to "ensure, among other things, that we maintain a consistent look to our buildings,"
    then they have failed miserably. Most of the doors are different from each other, and sets of the jalousie type windows are quite different in look from other sets of jalousie windows. If the Board wanted to keep my windows from looking slightly different from the other "open" or "screen" look, they should have responded within 30 days, as the By-laws require. Mr. Sokolow’s statement: "it is time for him to think that he may be in the wrong place." is incredible. By his harassment, his untrue statements, his defamation, he is trying to make me move out of or leave the Condo. This statement by Mr. Sokolow could only have been used for the purpose of discrediting and defaming me and my wife before the 30 non-director owners at the meeting, and the more than 100 owners, who received the Minutes by mail.
  28. Mr. Sokolow continues with his harassment:
  29. "The Board is an elected body by the owners and serves at their will, and is expected to protect the good of all. Mr. Simpson, by his actions of refusing to accept an honest evaluation of his request, is costing the owners of the condo association money by having to constantly have the association’s attorney involved in this dispute."

  30. This statement by Mr. Sokolow could only have been used for the purpose of discrediting and defaming me and my wife before the 30 non-director owners at the meeting, and the more than 100 owners, who received the Minutes by mail. The Board of Directors is responsible for starting and spending large amounts of moneys on this frivolous law suit.
  31. The Minutes say that copies of "Mr. Simpson’s, letter sent CMRR to the Board of Directors, dated February 17, 2004 and Mr. Simpson’s e-mails to Edith Rohrman, Secretary, dated January 27 and 29, 2004 with her response to Mr. Simpson dated January 27, 2004 are attached as part of the Minutes of this meeting". But they were not attached to my copy.
  32. The Minutes have the statement:
  33. "It was also noted that on February 4, 2004, the Law Off ice of Andrew Capdeville advised Mr. Simpson to ‘cease and desist from further communication with the individual board members, effective immediately regarding the window issue. Specifically, you are hereby directed to cease and desist from communicating with Edith Rohrman at her e-mail address’".

  34. Do the Directors think that their lawyer has a right to tell me who I can communicate with? They are wrong. I will continue to exercise my 1st amendment rights to free and open speech, and I will continue to assert my rights under the By-laws and the Condominium Laws of the USVI. This statement could only have been used for the purpose of discrediting and defaming me and my wife before the 30 non-director owners at the meeting, and the more than 100 owners, who received the Minutes by mail.
  35. The Board refers to an engineering report from Udo Penthur dated March 11, 2004 and that it be incorporated as a part of the Minutes. The report was not attached to my copy of the Minutes.
  36. Mr. Sokolow made remarks about how I had damaged the structural integrity of my apartment. At the March 17, 2004 Board meeting was the first time I had been informed that there might be a problem. The By-laws require that an owner be informed of problems by written communication, not by blurting it out in an insulting manner at a public meeting of the owners, and mailing the statement out to all the owners. The Minutes fail to mention that Manager Frank Barry had approved the structural changes in August, 2003, and nothing had been said about a problem from August, 2003 until the March 17, 2004 meeting. The Board, and Steve Sokolow also failed to mention that 40 or 50 other apartment units had been structurally altered in a similar fashion to mine, without use of a structural engineer, without drawings, without a licensed contractor, without building permits, without inspections, and without Certificate of Occupancy. This statement could only have been used for the purpose of discrediting and defaming me and my wife before the 30 non-director owners at the meeting, and the more than 100 owners, who received the Minutes by mail.
  37. The question of Steve Kerschner not being a owner or spouse of an owner was discussed and reported on in the Minutes. It was stated that Mr. Kerschner had been a part owner and that he had "documents" which proved it. When I asked to see the "documents", manager Frank Barry, upon instructions from Steve Kerschner, would not show me the "documents". The evidence (Title Examination Report showing that only his Mother was the owner of the Condo Unit) I provided proves he was not an owner for the first 8 years of being a Director. The facts show that Mr. Kerschner lied at the March 17, 2004 Board meeting; he lied for 8 years to the other owners about his ownership. It appears obvious that Mr. Kerschner lied to the other Directors about his ownership and qualifications to be a Director.
  38. My wife and I kept track for the last year, and found that Frank Barry took 12 weeks of vacation in a twelve month period. This was questioned in a letter by me to the Board, which was discussed at the March 17, 2004 meeting. The Board, and the Minutes of the Board meeting, said that his taking such long vacations was because the Board had determined that it was to the association’s advantage to give Frank Barry "comp time", rather than get paid "time and a half" for overtime. It is not customary for managers to get "time and a half". Frank Barry should not be allowed to get any comp time, or any additional vacation. He supervises 6 or 8 people, only one or two of which is doing any work at all at a given time during the work day. Certainly Sapphire Bay Condominiums West is not large enough to support a full time manager who does not also repair things. His exorbitant vacations amount to embezzlement, supported by a Board, which does not have the authority to award Frank Barry these long and undeserved vacations.
  39. The Minutes contained the following paragraph about keys to apartments.
  40. "Bud Wood addressed the matter that a set of each owner’s apartment keys needs to be available for the office. C-4 (me, Simpson) has provided no keys to the Manager. By-Laws Art. 5, Sec. 15 states keys must be provided to the Manager for emergencies. A Motion was made by Bud Wood, seconded by Steve Sokolow that a set of keys for Apartment C-4 were to be delivered to the Manager by the end of business day Thursday, March 18, 2004."

  41. The statement: "By-Law Art. 5, Sec. 15 states keys must be provided to the Manager for emergencies" is a lie. The By-laws do not require that keys must be provided to the Manager for emergencies, and I refuse to give the Manager a key. On March 18, 2004, (Defendant’s Exhibit 10) I hand delivered a letter to Manager Frank Barry for the Board of Directors. The letter, Exhibit 10, said that a key was not going to be delivered to the Manager, because the By-laws did not require it. Even though the Board of Directors knew that their statement about the By-laws requiring keys was false, they included the above insulting "Bud Wood addressed …." Statement in the Minutes of the March 17, 2004 Board Minutes, which were sent to owners. Defendant’s Exhibit 11 shows the open key cabinet in the manager’s office. We found the office unlocked and unattended with all the keys open for any of the keys to be stolen. Certainly no one should want that Manager to keep his/her key to their condo unit at Sapphire Bay Condominiums West. This false statement could only have been included in the Minutes for the purpose of discrediting and defaming me and my wife before 100 owners, who received the Minutes by mail.
  42. The Minutes contain the following insulting and defamatory statement about me:
  43. "Steve Sokolow requested that the Minutes should reflect the stupidity that has required the BOD of SBCW to spend extensive time on these matters rather than address Condo issues. The BOD has been harassed but will stand firm. Charter by all Owners."

  44. There is no basis for saying that my defense of my right to install windows is "stupidity". These insulting statements by Steve Sokolow could only have been included in the Minutes for the purpose of discrediting and defaming me and my wife before 100 owners, who received the Minutes by mail.
  45. The Minutes included the following insulting and defaming statement about me:
  46. "President’s Report: Steve Kerschner again emphasized that the BOD has been involved a lot in the issues with Apartment C-4. Steve stated that he hoped to move on after this meeting to better times and a more progressive environment."

  47. Any involvement in C-4 was of the dishonest making of the Board of Sapphire Bay Condominiums West and their lawyer. Blaming me was simply one more example of including it in the Minutes for the purpose of discrediting and defaming me and my wife before 100 owners, who received the Minutes by mail.
  48. On May 24, 2004, I was taking a walk around the property of Sapphire Bay Condominiums West. I was also taking pictures using my camera. Frank Barry and Director Steven Kerschner appeared riding on the golf cart supplied to Frank Barry by the Condo Association. They followed me everywhere I walked, first Frank Barry and Steven Kerschner on the golf cart then, later, Frank Barry on the golf cart by himself. This stalking by the Condo Manager and the Condo President (without credentials to be a Director or President) is absurd and extreme harassment. Defendant’s Exhibit 12 shows three of the pictures I took of the golf cart stalking incident.

 

Defendant’s Relief Requested

 

  1. The court dismiss the Plaintiff’s case, because it fails to state a cause of action for which relief can be granted.
  2. Issue a Declaratory Judgement that the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America protects full speech, and that opinions, which expressed as opinions, are protected by the Constitution of the United States of America.
  3. Damages, to be paid by the individual members of the Board of Directors personally, and by Frank Barry, in the amount of $12,000,000 for pain and suffering, emotional damage, and reputation damage due to the deliberate, vicious, and unending defamation by Plaintiffs of Defendant and his wife.
  4. Damages, to be paid by the Sapphire Bay Condominiums West Association, in the amount of $10,000,000 for pain and suffering, emotional damage, and reputation damage due to the deliberate, vicious, and unending defamation by Plaintiffs of Defendant and his wife.
  5. Damages, to be paid personally by the Steven Sokolow, Director of Sapphire Bay Condominiums West, in the amount of $10,000,000 for pain and suffering, emotional damage, and reputation damage due to the deliberate, vicious, and unending defamation by Plaintiffs of Defendant and his wife.

 

 

GEORGE R. SIMPSON, PROSE

DATED: May___, 2004 By: ________________________

George R. Simpson

6345 Smith Bay

Sapphire Bay Condominiums West

Unit C-4

St. Thomas, Virgin Islands 00802

Cell Phone: 631-357-9502