HOA feud in DeSoto pits neighbor against neighbor

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on September 21, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 21 at 7:23 PM

Candle Meadow

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DESOTO -- It is a feud that has been going on for months in DeSoto.

It has led to one DeSoto homeowner being tased by police and other homeowners receiving threatening letters in the mail.

Some residents in the Candle Meadow Homeowners Association in Desoto believe there is money that cannot be accounted for in bank accounts and they want to know where the money has been going.

It led to a shoving match at one of the meetings and now those who are voicing complaints said they are being threatened

The Candle Meadow neighborhood has one of the largest homeowners associations in the city. 

According to bank records, it brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

But some residents, who asked we not identify them, said they have been trying to find out for at least three years where all the money is being spent.

"Each year by September we're losing money," said one resident. "We have no money to pay our vendors or our bills."

Several women who live in the community said residents have asked for detailed receipts and financial documents from the board of directors, but they have only received some of the records. They said the board wrote thousands of dollars worth of checks for a back-to-school fair, a crawfish boil and other events, but said there are few receipts showing where the money went.

"What we found were the documents of checks being written to board members with no support," a resident said.

The women claim some board members have also hired family members to do work around the neighborhood without getting bids required by the association.

They claimed they have been trying to get answers and recently tried to get the board removed. That led to an argument at one of the meetings, which police say ended with a fight outside the Desoto Town Center.

"Several men in our neighborhood jumped in to stop a man from attacking a female," a resident said. "It's just unheard of in Candle Meadow."

One homeowner ended up being arrested and a taser was used on him by police. According to a police report, they ended up arresting the man for not complying with police commands.

The situation has deteriorated even more.

Since that incident, several women in the neighborhood said they have received threatening letters, which police are now investigating.

The letters said the women are "playing with fire." In one letter, the writer called the woman a bad name and said "you are dumb to allow your son to see you get hurt." It goes on to read it would be a big mistake to take the letter for a joke.

"We don't assault each other," said the woman. "We are family in Candle Meadow. But recently, four of us received threatening letters because we are asking questions about our finances."

News 8 spoke with the president of the homeowner's association and asked him for a response. He said he can account for all the money, but has not allowed News 8 to see the books and he has not returned further phone calls.

The president also told News 8 to talk with a firm which handles some of the association’s money.

We talked to representatives of that firm, who said they only handle one account for the association but there are two others they do not have access to. Again, News 8 tried to get a response, but the president did not return calls.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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