PLANTATION, Fla. – A South Florida woman is accusing her homeowner’s association of towing away her late husband’s cars while she dealt with his sudden death and planned his funeral.
Dori Cousley’s 59-year-old husband Richard died of a sudden heart attack.
“I was planning a funeral, planning a viewing, getting my sister-in-law here from Jamaica,” she said. “The other sister lives out of South Florida.”
The last thing on her mind was Richard’s cars in the parking lot.
The couple had lived at the Plantation Racquet Club on Broward Boulevard for 20 years. Richard used to be the security guard there.
“There was no need for this, none whatsoever,” Cousley said. “Imagine you wake up on the morning of your husband’s funeral and the cars are gone.”
Richard’s two black Dodge Chargers were towed by his homeowner’s association. They are at All County Towing and were accruing hundreds of dollars in fees that raise daily.
It’s money this teacher’s aide doesn’t have.
Dori says she called her HOA president who she says authorized the tow.
“I was hysterical, crying when I found out his cars were towed,” Cousley said. “She knew he died. She knew we were planning a funeral.”
Cousley said she asked HOA president Susan Seman “how come you towed his cars after everything he’s done for you?”
Seman hung up the phone, she said.
“She didn’t call anyone about anything,” Seman told Local 10 News reporter Jeff Weinsier.
“But you knew he died?” Weinsier asked.
“Sir, how many times do I have to answer that question for you? I heard rumors around the property,” Seman said.
State records show Susan Seman, or “Sam” as she’s known, is the condo president.
“I can’t talk to you any further (other) than to tell you the friggin’ rules,” Seman said. “She knew them.”
Seman says cars cannot be parked in the same guest spot for over a month. The claim is that Richard’s were.
Cousley said that’s untrue.
“What I think is she has rules for certain people and rules for others,” Cousley said.
Cousley and other residents agree there is selective enforcement. A Honda Prelude in a guest spot has expired tags and cobwebs on the wheels.
Residents we talked to, who refused to go on camera in fear of retaliation, say the car hasn’t moved in months. And Seaman says she walks the lot often.
“If the rules are the same, why hasn’t the Prelude (been moved)?” Weinsier asked Seman.
“I can’t answer that. I have to talk to my security guy,” Seman replied.
There’s also a Chevy Trailblazer in a guest spot with a flat tire. Residents also say it hasn’t moved.
“That one will be taken care of too. All these cars will be taken care of,” Seman said.
“But his car was towed after he passed,” Weinsier pointed out.
“The Trailblazer must have just gone flat,” Seman said. “I just circled the property this morning and I didn’t see it.”
The owners of these motorcycles in guest spots haven’t moved either.
“The motorcycles asked for more time, and like I said, there is a situation going on there, so we gave them more time,” Seman said.
But there was certainly a situation going on in Dori Cousley’s life when Richard’s cars were towed.
“Why wasn’t that car towed, and why were his cars being towed?” Weinsier asked Seman.
“Obviously, security can’t remember every friggin’ car. We do our best. But his cars, we remember,” she replied.
The good news is that after Local 10 News contacted All County Towing, owner Chris Casale offered to waive all fees and is even helping Cousley sell the cars so she can use the money for expenses.
But she still wonders why.
“All she had to do is make a phone call!” Seman said.
Cousley described Seman as a “malicious and vindictive person.”
“(She) has no soul and no heart because no one in their right mind would have done that to anybody,” Cousley said.