SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Residents in a Kendall neighborhood are relieved after the arrests of members of their homeowners association.
Cellphone video shows homeowners celebrating and expressing relief after a judge ordered the Hammocks Clubhouse to shut down and for all employees to leave.
The judge made that clear on Thursday after notifying someone through a phone call.
“There is a receiver that is appointed, and they now control the Hammocks,” said the judge. “The receiver is going to be, at my instruction, removing the current board, so your employers do not work there anymore, so gather your body and leave. You must not take anything from the premises.”
It was an immediate wave of change that happened in the Hammocks community, which many said was long overdue.
7News learned that there will be a new six member advisory board who will work closely with the receiver, who is a retired judge.
“For everybody here, the reign of terror is finally over after fighting to get our community back for years,” said Don Kearns, a resident and new advisory board member.
It came two days after the State Attorney’s Office had announced that five members of the Hammocks Community Association were accused of stealing over $1 million from the HOA fund.
“Never would anyone have connected such serious criminal allegations to one of the largest homeowner associations in Florida,” said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “The charges stem from misappropriating board funds to [one of the member’s] own use.”
That member, former HOA president Marglli Gallego, appeared in court Thursday where a judge denied her bond.
“Today is almost like a Hammocks holiday where we have been liberated,” said Kearns.
“We will mark Nov. 17, 2022 as the Hammocks Day of Independence,” said an announcement over the speakers.
“They wanted to silence us, but they couldn’t. They couldn’t,” said Claudia, a resident.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office said the investigation is far from over.
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