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Dover Post
  • Contempt charges possible against Persimmon Park Place council

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  • The three persons involved in a lawsuit against the Persimmon Park Place condominium council have requested the council be held in contempt following the failure to hold a court-ordered election.
    Frederick Tolbert, Martha Hanvey and Della Morton, all of who live in the community on the other side of Del. Route 1, east of the Dover International Speedway, filed the motion April 9 in Chancery Court.
    “The defendant in this case has refused to comply with the terms of the mediation agreement,” Tolbert said. The request also asks Vice Chancellor John W. Noble to appoint a receiver along with a contempt finding.
    The three had sued the council alleging “egregious mismanagement” of the subdivision since 2010.
    As reported in the Jan. 22 issue of the Dover Post, Tolbert, Morton and Harvey reached a mediation agreement with the governing council as a body, represented by attorney John F. Brady.
    Under the mediation agreement, Noble ordered an election be held on a Saturday in March to select five residents for the governing council, with Dover attorney William G. Bush acting as election coordinator. Noble also required an audit of the council’s books from Fiscal Year 2010 to 2014.
    Those elections did not happen; instead, a notice went out from Brady’s Georgetown firm, postmarked April 2, advising owners and residents of Persimmon Park Place of elections to be held on May 10.
    Brady said several attempts had been made to comply with Noble’s order, but that bad weather and the opening day of baseball prevented scheduling the election. Other events in April, including the Easter weekend, plus the annual Dover Days celebration the first weekend in May prohibited setting up an election any time before May 10, he said.
    Noble’s order was not binding that an election be held only in March since it was part of a mediation agreement and not a court order, Brady claimed.
    The failure to hold the elections as ordered is the reason he requested Noble hold the condominium council in contempt, Tolbert said.
    “They didn’t comply with the agreement, they haven’t complied with any of it,” he said. “We wanted the order because we felt there has been mismanagement of the funds and we wanted an order to substantiate how the funds have been used.”
    Noble gave Brady until April 17 to file a response and required Tolbert, Hanvey and Morton to respond by April 25.
    Calls to Bush’s office were not returned by press time.

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