Saturday, November 26, 2011
Something Else To Think About
I note with interest that the illustrious Executive Board Member, Gerald Karpf, simply couldn’t resist tarnishing the first issue of the new Reporter by putting pen to paper with libelous gossip. Working from his own agenda, presumably in retaliation to Reporter references regarding his involvement with the 1st Priority fiasco, Mr. K attempts to convince Reporter readers that I, Sue Cohen, am not an investigative journalist, but a hypocrite who breaks the law. Now, had Jerry been of a genuine literary persuasion himself, he may have realized that it is somewhat foolhardy to rely on the information gathered from unreliable sources. According to Mr. Karpf, I stand accused of installing tankless water heaters in our building's eight laundries to the detriment of the residents. Mr. K further accuses that in doing so, I broke the law, which will cost thousands of dollars to rectify. Now this would have been rather difficult since I wasn’t even in the country at the time of the installations. In my absence, the condominium washers, dryers and water heaters were in fact, installed, under contract, by an allegedly reputable laundry company.
Unrelated at the time, and at the request and expense of the association, a well-known electrical firm carried out an inspection of the building's wiring several months later. It was then discovered that one of Florida’s best-known laundry companies had installed the heaters in clear violation of the law. The issue was immediately turned over to our lawyers. With the knowledge, consent, and support of the condominium board the resulting code violations were reported to the Department of Planning, Zoning & Building.
Because of the circumstances, no daily fine was ever imposed, and our law firm has been dealing with this legal matter ever since. As our more informed residents are well aware, liability for these unlawfully installed water heaters has been accepted and will not cost our residents the thousands that Mr. K implied was the case. Our attorneys are presently negotiating with the laundry company's insurance agents for an amicable resolution, hopefully in the very near future.
One would have hoped that Mr. K, an elected representative of UCO, would have had a modicum of sense not to allow his wounded ego to get the better of him. Publishing allegations without a substantial evidence file is not a wise, but potentially a highly expensive move. As every investigative journalist knows, to publicly libel someone of breaking the law, without a single shred of evidence, is likely to place such people and those they purportedly represent firmly at defendant's table of the nearest courtroom.