Controversy swirls around Hammocks HOA board election after alleged threat halts voting

Homeowners in the Hammocks community of southwest Miami-Dade are growing more and more frustrated.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Homeowners in the Hammocks community of southwest Miami-Dade are growing more and more frustrated.

Resident after resident of the Hammocks Community Association showed up Tuesday to pay association fees, but there was no answer at the club house.

This comes on the heels of a pretty chaotic night on Monday.

It was supposed to be a simple process of voting for leadership of the community association.

Covid safety protocols moved things along slowly until officials said a threat was made by phone.

That led to hundreds of homeowners who were waiting in line to be abruptly turned away.

Some of those homeowners aren’t buying it.

Anna Danton is running to be on the board again, claiming corruption has hit a peak after the association’s former president was arrested last year, accused of stealing more than $100,000 from her neighbors for personal use.

So homeowners were given a ballot and their first shot in years to vote in a new board.

Things got so heated that Florida State Senator Annette Taddeo was called out to help, but even she was denied entry and couldn’t supervise the voting process.

Meanwhile, voting continued on Facebook, which many residents said was odd and should not be considered legitimate.

Taddeo is speaking with police about the alleged threat, compiling a list of legal irregularities and more importantly, dealing with this legislatively because she says these boards that manage small cities in some cases should be held more accountable.

Attorney Hilton Napoleon, II, Esq. represents the Hammocks Community Association and he sent Local 10 News the following statement:

“First, it is important to note that we are in the middle of pandemic with an increasing number of COVID cases. The Board took several precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in the voting process. The Hammocks encouraged everyone to vote by mail. In all, over one thousand residents took advantage of mail-in voting to promote a healthy environment. Additionally, an independent election monitor and his staff were solely responsible for opening the envelops and counting the ballots. The entire counting process was streamed on Facebook Live for all of our members to view. We have no information of any illegal activity involving the voting process.

Unfortunately, a resident created a social media site where she urged members of the community to come out and protest the election during the exact same time that in-person voting was set to occur. Members of the community began inciting a crowd, yelling at our public safety officers, and threatening our staff. There was also a physical altercation between a resident and a public safety officer when the resident broke through the security border. People began banging on several doors and windows of the election site. We even received reports from our public safety officers that residents were threatening to enter the premises by any means possible. According to them, “they were getting in one way or another.”

The situation continued to escalate, jeopardizing the safety of those inside and the integrity of the election process. The Board made the tough decision to close the in-person voting process to protect the safety of the people on site and protect the election process. It is important to note that in-person voting was scheduled from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The Hammocks closed the doors at 7:02 p.m.”

About the Author:

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.