Residents unhappy with Miami condo board president that has history of aggressive behavior

Ben Dvir owns multiple units in Blue on the Bay, but residents have had issues with his aggressive, rude behavior for years.

MIAMI – The last time we saw Ben Dvir, he was driving away in his matte gray BMW. He’d just bumped Local 10 News reporter Layron Livingston with the side view mirror of his car. Livingston was hoping to get a response from Dvir, who’s been accused of abusing his power as president of the Blue on the Bay condominium association in Miami.

Dvir owns multiple units in the Edgewater high rise.

Local 10 obtained surveillance and cell phone footage capturing Dvir pointing, shouting, swearing and arguing with residents and employees in the building during separate incidents. One video from this past March shows Dvir pointing and yelling at a man inside an elevator in the building. The man appeared to be walking his dog. Another video from 2018 shows Dvir getting upset, yelling and confronting a Blue on the Bay valet. We’ve learned the valet was trying to explain parking rules to Dvir when the board president got upset.

Local 10 previously aired cell phone footage from March, showing an expletive-ridden exchange between Dvir and an on-duty security guard. The guard tells Local 10 News Dvir became upset when he saw the guard eating his lunch inside his marked security company vehicle and demanded the guard be removed from the property.

During the heated exchange, Dvir told that guard he was fired; Dvir called Miami police claiming he felt threatened by the guard. Officers asked the guard to leave, despite the guard being authorized to provide security for the building. No charges were filed.

“It’s not in anyone’s interest in the condominium to have that kind of altercation going on,” said Alessandra Stivelman with Eisinger Law.

Stivelman has no connection to Blue on the Bay, but she is board certified in condo association law.

“The problem is liability,” she said. “You’re acting as an agent of the association.” Stivelman said every association action should be voted on at a board meeting, and board members need to be sure they’re complying with applicable laws.

“A lot of times, we see individuals take the power to the next level – it gets to their head,” said Stivelman. “They start acting where maybe they’re thinking it’s in the best interest of the association to do something on their own.”

Stivelman said that can lead to serious consequences and complaints.

The security company is now planning to take legal action.

One Blue on the Bay owner contacted Local 10 News and asked to remain anonymous. That owner’s suspicions were confirmed when the city of Miami flagged the building as “unsafe” in August. City records show work done in the building’s gym -- including boring into the ceiling, and the installation of new lighting fixtures -- was done without approved plans, or permits.

At the time of this publication, city records showed that case was unresolved.

“What happens is there’s no accountability and some board-members, and sometimes property managers, are spending association monies without any oversight,” said Tamara Reyes, president of South Florida Property Owners Consulting.

Reyes and her team were hired by an owner at Blue on the Bay. She’s pored over two years of bank statements, balance sheets, and credit card transactions; her team has reviewed bids and contracts involving Blue on the Bay property management, and its association president.

“Our hope for the homeowners is always that our suspicions are wrong,” said Reyes.

We asked if she came across anything that warrants further attention. Reyes said, yes, and that her team is still in the investigative process, waiting for supportive documentation.

Local 10 reached out to Blue on the Bay’s property manager for a response to the code violations. We also wanted to a response to the recorded incidents involving board president Dvir; to discuss the condo association and property manager’s policies, procedures.

Their comment was, “no comment.”

Local 10 News has not heard from Dvir since he bumped Livingston with his car, and drove away.

About the Author:

Layron Livingston made the move from Ohio's Miami Valley to Miami, Florida, to join the Local 10 News team.