HOA Hall of Shame: Bitsky is back
North Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The man made famous in Contact 13's HOA Hall of Shame is still wreaking havoc in his neighborhood, nearly six months after being booted from the board.
There's a saying in the gaming world -- you gotta know when to hold 'em, and know when to fold 'em.
It's a life lesson that one disgraced homeowner association president hasn't learned.
Even though Joe Bitsky doesn't have a good poker face -- as evidenced by him sticking out his tongue at Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears -- he just can't stop playing the game.
"I don't think he knows when to give up," says new board member Cathy Aja.
She and the rest of the new Autumn Chase board are calling Bitsky's bluff.
"It's unbelievable," says Board President Eugene Mund. "He thinks he's above the law."
"Almost like last October never happened," adds Board Member Joe Salvatore.
Rewind to last October when the state took unprecedented action... Removing the entire Autumn Chase board made up of Bitsky, his wife and their friend.
The Bitskys were fined more than $105,000 and banned from ever serving in another Nevada homeowners association.
The state found them guilty of mistreating homeowners and using the HOA's bank account and credit card for personal gain.
"In most communities there's always an eccentric or somebody that likes to take things into their own hands," says David Mulligan of Triton HOA Services, Autumn Chase's community association manager. "This case is really unusual in that this person is really making it more difficult for this board to do their job."
Bitsky is interfering with board business by repeatedly sending letters to homeowners.
The latest includes a recall petition for the three board members who were put in place to clean up the mess he left behind.
"I think he thinks he's in the right and we are just all a bunch of idiots," says Aja.
Bitsky couldn't have said it better himself, calling the homeowners "jerks" when we first met him in November 2010.
Now, the new board is digging the HOA out of the hole Bitsky left them in.
They had to hire a property manager and raise dues to $36 a month.
Darcy: Eugene, the new board, under your presidency, has had to raise dues. Why?
Gene: Well, why? Because there's no money!
Just two days after being booted off the board, association bank records show Bitsky transferred $1,270 out of the account and onto his business card, which he was supposed to turn over to the state, but didn't.
He left Autumn Chase with a balance of less than $68.
"So basically stealing even more money that what was originally seen by the Real Estate Division," says Salvatore.
Bitsky also failed to properly fund the reserve account, which is required by state law.
He hasn't bothered to pay the $105,000 fine he owes the state.
Darcy: He owes the association over $10,000 in restitution as part of the state's findings. How much of that have you gotten?
Joe Salvatore: Zero.
Darcy: Not a dime?
Joe Salvatore: Not a dime.
Bitsky also didn't pay the association's insurance. And wait, there's more.
For months, Bitsky didn't pay the association's water bill, leaving Autumn Chase in a $766 hole with the City of North Las Vegas.
After getting kicked off the board last October, Bitsky had the power to the HOA's common areas turned off. He tried to cut off the water, too.
"It seems that it's his alternate reality," says Salvatore. "It doesn't seem like he lives in the real world."
Bitsky has a "No Trespassing" sign posted in front of his house, so we called from outside and his wife answered.
"Hi Barbara, it's Darcy Spears at Channel 13. I wanted to talk with Joe about the recall petition that he sent out trying to recall the board. I'm wondering if one or both of you would come outside and talk with me? He's in the hospital?"
She hung up after repeating that, and never came out to talk.
The Bitskys have until April 9 to pay both the state and the HOA.
In the meantime, the Nevada Attorney General is pursuing criminal charges, but no word on the status of their investigation.
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