Friday, May 15, 2015

Cedar Run Legal Update - Sher Invoice & Contract Now Available

In our last blog post on 4/24, we described an invoice that Robert Sher and Jack Shaw submitted to the receiver.  They demanded immediate payment of $17,654.64 plus ongoing monthly payments of $5881.88 until the year 2020.

We now have a copy of this invoice available for all to read.  Click HERE to view it.

Same Old, Same Old
In full accordance with the Robert Sher playbook, this 2.5 page 'invoice' contains about 2.4 pages of self-aggrandizing rhetoric (complete with atrocious grammatical errors) and just a few lines that (poorly and vaguely) describe what services are being billed.

Among this rhetoric, you'll find the following:

  • Sher still blames everything on his predecessors (Alma and previous board).  Here we go again....
  • Claiming $600,000 in savings.  Questionable math, including $161,000 in SPENDING is listed as a 'savings'.
  • Still blames the attorney (Bloomberg) for his ouster.  Complete denial that he has done anything unlawful or improper to cause the court to take action.
  • Still touting conspiracy theories about the financing of the legal case against him.  We're surprised he mentioned nothing about Germans being involved.
  • Still clambering on about his supposed $65/month assessment plan.  Chastises the receiver for not implementing it.

The Worst of it All
The most disturbing thing in this entire letter is the mention of an agreement.  This agreement allegedly binds the Cedar Run HOC (aka 'Master Board') to keep Robert Sher and Jack Shaw on the payroll for a total of  8 years!  This 8 year agreement/contract was presented in court on 5/5 as evidence, and it is now a public document.

Click HERE to view it.  We STRONGLY encourage you to read this agreement in its entirety.
 



On 5/5/2015, the judge held a special hearing to determine if  Sher/Shaw were entitled to payment.  Jack Shaw made a personal appearance in court, hoping to justify his demand for payment.   After reviewing the contract, the judge denied Sher's/Shaw's request for $17,654.64 in payment.  He also expressed doubt in the enforceability of such an agreement.  We will provide more details on the judge's remarks after the court transcript becomes available.



Analysis

The are so many things wrong with this agreement----so many that we will devote an entire future blog post to them.  Arguably, this agreement is even more outrageous than the bogus Bylaws that led to Sher's ouster. 

It's a completely on-sided contract, signed only by members of the Sher/Shaw clan, that ties our association into an unbreakable agreement with Robert Sher & Jack Shaw.


nepotism
noun nep·o·tism \ˈne-pə-ˌti-zəm\
: the unfair practice by a powerful person of giving jobs and other favors to relatives

The only signature on this contract representing the HOC board is that of Barbara Shaw.  It is doubtful that any of the other board members knew about or had any say in the decision to enter the association into such a one-sided, unbreakable agreement.  Even the Bogus Bylaws have four signatures on them (still not a quorum of board members, but better than just one who happens to be a FAMILY MEMBER of the other party).



We'd love to hear from you!
(224) 544-9058


 SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG
Enter your email address:


Friday, April 24, 2015

Cedar Run Legal Update - Robert Sher Demands Payment of $17K+



In an invoice/letter dated 3/9/15 that Robert Sher sent to HHSG (the receiver), Sher has demanded that he and Jack Shaw be paid an immediate sum of $17,645.64.  This is allegedly 'owed' to them for their 'services'  from December of 2014 through February of 2015.

Furthermore, Sher's letter also states that he and Jack must be paid a total sum of $5,881.88 EVERY MONTH going forward until the YEAR 2020!!


In the letter, Sher claims that the (now ousted) master board had made an agreement with the 'oversight committee' (Robert & Jack) to pay them every month for five years with an optional three year extension (total of eight years - i.e through 2020).  Sher claims that he and Jack are owed this money because of the 'savings' they created for Cedar Run.

This letter was presented in court by the receiver on 4/22.  The receiver HAS NOT paid anything to Robert or Jack, and in the receiver's own report, he "[does] not recommend payment based on previous court decisions...."  In other words, he will not make this payment unless told by the court to do so.


Next Hearing 5/5/15
There will be a hearing on 5/5 to discuss this issue and to decide whether or not Sher/Shaw have the right to be paid.

We will not speculate on how the judge will rule on this matter.  We will let him speak for himself at the 5/5 hearing.

But keep the following things in mind.

  1. Sher's letter claims that there is an 'agreement' with the Master Board, but it stops short of using the word 'contract'.  This may indicate that there was never any kind of written agreement or obligation for the board to pay him indefinitely.
  2. The board that supposedly made this agreement likely had no legal right to make such an agreement.  This is primarily due to the fact that they were operating under a bogus set of Bylaws.  Also, they almost certainly did not have enough directors to make up a quorum as defined by our true governing docs.
That said, we expect the Sher/Shaw clan to have quite an uphill battle if they expect to prove that they are entitled to any payment from HOC funds.   We are looking forward to hearing what type of argument that the Shaw sisters will cook up and present in court in hopes of getting their father and brother-in-law paid.  Stay Tuned!

8 Year Agreement

To give an idea of how ridiculous the terms are of Sher's so-called 'agreement', we thought we'd show an excerpt from a typical, professional condo property management contract.

TERMINATION OF AGREEMENT
The Agreement may be terminated by either party with or without cause, upon sixty (60) days  prior written notice.


What does this mean??  It means that a board of directors has the right to fire their property management at any time and for any reason, as long as they provide sixty days notice.


Conversely,  in the case of Robert Sher.....


He first tried to adopt Bylaws that make him (and Jack) virtually impossible to fire.  Now, he claims that there was a five year agreement to have them both paid -AND- a three year 'optional' extension that is somehow already in effect (even though the first five years has not yet elapsed).  And even though both he and Jack have been ousted from any management role on the property, Sher still claims that the agreement entitles him to payment.


In Closing

While we must wait patiently for the completion of the financial audit results and election announcement, we ask all Cedar Run homeowners to keep the following in mind:

When Sher campaigned for your vote in the summer of 2012, did he mention anything about putting himself (or Jack) on the payroll for almost 6 grand per month?  NO!

Did he mention anything about abolishing elections, scrapping the bylaws, or signing himself to an 8 year contract and no possibility of being fired or removed?  NO again!

Had you known these were his plans, would you have voted for him?  We hope NOT.

.....And we hope that the past two years will serve as a lesson to all homeowners when making their decision in the upcoming election as well as their phase elections.


Check back regularly for more info.
We'd love to hear from you!
(224) 544-9058


 SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG
Enter your email address:


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cedar Run Legal Update - Receiver to Appear in Court 4/22/15

On Wednesday, 4/22, Al Schroeder from Heil, Heil, Smart & Golee will appear before Judge Garcia and present his second report on the status of Cedar Run.

As soon as the report becomes available, we will post it on the blog so homeowners can read it in its entirety.  For now, we encourage you to read the last report which can be found HERE.

The transcript for the hearing where this report was presented can be found HERE.

We are quite interested in seeing what this second report has to say, as there were many unresolved issues when the last report was presented.  Some of those issues included the disposition of certain documents that should have been turned over to the receiver, the status of the association's insurance coverage (workers' comp, liability), and a handful of others.  We hope to find out if there has been any progress on any of these  issues.

Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Cedar Run Legal Update - 3/25/15 Transcript Available

Dear Cedar Run homeowners,

We have now obtained the court transcript from the Rule to Show Cause hearing against Robert Sher.  It is quite long, but it contains some very telling information, including a sworn testimony from Robert Sher himself.

You can read the transcript by clicking HERE.

***UPDATE***
COPY OF COURT ORDER NOW AVAILABLE
CLICK HERE
**************

For now, here are some highlights:


CONTEMPT OF COURT
Judge Garcia did rule that a letter sent by Robert Sher in early March DID VIOLATE the TRO order (and/or the stand still order).  Therefore, Robert Sher was found in contempt of court.

The Judge stated that Sher's letter, despite a small disclaimer, was still an attempt to communicate with homeowners in an official manner (page 47, line 14).  The large headlines about assessment reductions, the countless references to his actions while on the oversight committee, and even the return address on the envelope claiming to be from "Cedar Run" (see below), were enough to convince the Judge that Sher was simply trying 'get around the order' but still communicate with homeowners in an official capacity.

Return address from Sher's March 2015 mailing


SHER'S TESTIMONY


Robert Sher insisted that he has done "nothing but good" for the Cedar Run community.  That's right, folks...NOTHING BUT GOOD!  He says it at least twice during his testimony (page 14, line 12; page 15, line 17) .  We won't even touch this one right now.  We find the truth to be quite self-evident on this topic.

The blog continues to gain notoriety.  Robert Sher says the word 'blog' (referring to THIS blog) at least 10 times during his testimony.  He tries to argue that the information we disseminate on this blog is false and that he was entitled to issue his letter (as an individual) and defend his name.

Our response:  The information on this blog is not only TRUE, but we back it up by posting documents and evidence that PROVE IT IS TRUE.  When this information is not favorable for the Sher/Shaw cause, Robert Sher resorts to measures like telling owners that the court transcripts we've posted are fake.  The truth has almost always been against the Sher/Shaw group's interests, and Sher will go through great lengths to suppress any facts that aren't favorable to him.

That said, we'd like to thank Robert Sher and the entire Shaw clan (Barbara, Jack, Anne, and Caryn) for reading and following our blog.  Many thanks as well for providing the feedback (in court) that proves that this blog has made a difference.  Your feedback tells us that this blog has provided Cedar Run homeowners with the badly needed counterpoint to a narrative that the HOC (under the direction of Robert, Barb, & Jack) has created via their slanderous, self-aggrandizing, so-called 'Newsletters', and the (even more slanderous and self-aggrandizing) clubhouse presentations.



Anne Shaw Removed From Courtroom


After interjecting multiple times and trying to object to other arguments made in court, Anne Shaw was told by the Judge to leave the courtroom (page 34, line 20).  Apparently the Judge would only allow one Shaw sister to speak or object on behalf of Robert Sher, and the Judge decided it should be Caryn Shaw.  Anne apparently did not respect this, so OUT THE DOOR SHE WENT!!

While this incident may be quite embarrassing for Anne Shaw professionally, it really had no bearing on the Judge's ruling.

Consequences

While it is still not clear what type of sanctions there will be for Robert Sher (if any), we do know that a letter will be issued and sent to homeowners by the receiver.  This letter will address all of the major points and falsehoods in Sher's letter, in an effort to clear up any confusion it spurred.  Timeline of this letter is still not clear.

****UPDATE****
The letter that will be sent by the receiver will "purge the civil contempt", meaning that there will be no further sanctions against Robert Sher. (page 3, paragraph 3 of the court order) so long as this letter addresses all concerns raised from Sher's letter.

The Judge will be reviewing drafts of the receiver's letter in court on April 13th, 2015, and he will hopefully make a ruling as to its contents.  That said, the earliest we would see this letter in our mailboxes would be the 3rd week of April.
****************

What we must also clearly state is that the order against Robert Sher for contempt of court is NOT any kind of CRIMINAL verdict.  The Cook County Chancery Division is a CIVIL Court.  Based on some of the reader comments on previous blog entries, we feel it is important to make this distinction.

Still Unresolved

One significant issue that the Judge decided not to address at this hearing was Sher's handling of documents that should have been turned over to the receiver.  To recap, on March 10, 2015, the receiver's report stated that certain expense records had not been turned over by Robert Sher.  This was supposed to be addressed at the 3/25 Rule to Show Cause hearing.

The Judge decided not to address this on 3/25, because he had received a written reply from Shaw Legal Services that appeared to be satisfactory.  However, based on comments made in court by David Bloomberg, the receiver and accountants may not totally concur the reply from Shaw Legal Services.  This issue may very well come up at a future court date.

Check back regularly for more info!
(224) 544-9058


 SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG
Enter your email address:


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cedar Run Legal Update - Special Hearing Today

At the last court hearing on March 10th, the receiver presented his first report to Judge Garcia.  There were a myriad of issues that the receiver had already discovered after only 3 weeks of managing Cedar Run. We will provide a more detailed summary of them later.

Receiver's report can be found HERE
A transcript of the 3/10/15 hearing can be found HERE.

Two issues that stood out to the Judge specifically involved Robert Sher's actions and his failure to obey the Judge's orders.

  • The letter that Sher sent to all Cedar Run unit owners
    • The letter proclaimed that Sher would have lowered the assessment fee to $65
    • It also encouraged homeowners to take action before the May elections

  • The receiver's comment that Sher was obstructing their efforts to access HOC expense records
    • These records were stored online with Robert Sher controlling access.
    • Sher first restricted access, then eventually removed them.

The Judge was very displeased  after learning of the above actions by Sher. In response to this, he issued a "rule to show cause" against Robert Sher, with a hearing date of 3/25/15 at 2PM.  The purpose of this hearing is to determine if Robert Sher did directly violate the Judge's orders (T.R.O. and stand-still order).  And if so, what the "remedy" (presumably punishment, penalty, or restriction) will be for such violations.


    We will update the blog with any new information we learn from today's hearing. Feel free to subscribe to this blog (see below), and you will get updates right in your inbox.

    ***UPDATE*** 
    Robert Sher in contempt of court!  See comments section.
    ************

    Please stay tuned!!

    restoreCR@gmail.com
    (224) 544-9058



     SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG
    Enter your email address:


    Wednesday, March 11, 2015

    Cedar Run Legal Update - Receiver's Report Now Available

    Attention Cedar Run homeowners,  We now have of a copy of the report presented by the receiver in court yesterday (3/10/15).

    The report can be found by clicking HERE.

    There is a lot of interesting material in this report.  It shows what a real mess Sher had left at the time of his ouster.  It also shows that he may be hiding certain financial information from the receiver and accountants.  (item 17)


    We will post a thorough summary later, but for now we'd like to point out some issues that Phase V owners should know prior to tonight's meeting at the clubhouse.
    • Phase V financial and legal documents have been kept secret from the phase directors since the Sher takeover (item 8)
    • Phase V has not filed tax returns since the Sher takeover (item 8)
    • Phase V has no Director's & Officer's (aka D&O) insurance policy, meaning that if the board members were sued, they would have to pay for their own defense (item 11-b)
    • Phase V's building insurance only covers $66 per square foot, when it should cover about $200 per square foot (item 11-c)
    • The way Phase V's insurance policy is written, it may NOT COVER ANYTHING on the residential buildings and only cover the clubhouse (?!)  (item 11-e)
    If you are urged to support re-hiring Sher/Shaw to manage your phase, consider these facts carefully.

    We strongly encourage all homeowners in Phase V to attend this meeting. Given the above information, we believe that the directors who called this meeting, are probably making a good-faith effort to inform homeowners.

    If this is the case, then we applaud them for making this effort.


    Please stay tuned for our full summary of the receiver's report.  For the time being, we encourage you to read it in its entirety.  We will also post the court transcripts once they are available.




    Tuesday, March 10, 2015

    Cedar Run (Partial) Legal Update

    As you are aware, Al Schroeder (the HOC receiver) had appeared in court today and presented his first report to Judge Garcia.  We are still collecting information about the proceedings, which we will post as soon as possible

    What we do know is this:
    • Attorney Robert Orman (who defended Sher, Shaw and the HOC board from December to present) has withdrawn as their attorney.  We do not know the reason why, but we suspect that Mr. Orman either wasn't paid or feels that Sher's case is futile.
    • Sher is STILL TRYING to argue that his Bogus Bylaws are legal, but the Judge won't have any of it - MOTION DENIED
    • In regards to Robert Sher's recent letter to homeowners, the Judge was not happy about it, and a court date of 3/25/15 has been set in order to discuss possible SANCTIONS AGAINST HIM for disobeying both the TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) and the original standstill order.
    We will have more information, including a copy of the receiver's report within the next day or two.


    But for now, We interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you some news about Cedar Run Phase V.

    Cedar Run Phase V homeowners received an 'Emergency Meeting' notice tacked to their garage today (3/10/15).  Click HERE to view the notice.

    It is not clear what the Phase V board's exact motives are in calling this meeting.  However, we recommend that all Phase V homeowners attend the meeting if possible or call the listed phone number to inquire.

    History
    To briefly recap, Phase V was taken over by a group led by Sher, in a way that is legally questionable at best.  Most believe that this takeover was outright illegal, and they blame A.P.M. for yielding control of the phase to Sher.

    Once Sher assumed control over this phase, he appointed three figurehead directors, who would serve as nothing more than names on paperwork that delegated all authority to Sher and Shaw (the oversight committee).

    Since then, Sher and Shaw have had full control over the Phase V association's money.  In an effort to keep assessments from rising,  Sher had grossly under-insured Phase V, and many suspect that he also subsidized the phase with HOC funds.

    There have been NO ELECTIONS, NO BOARD MEETINGS, and NO BUDGETS for Phase V since the takeover.

    Now that the HOC is in receivership and the oversight committee is powerless, the documents signed by the figurehead directors no longer authorize Sher/Shaw to manage the phase.  The Phase must now hire a licensed property manager.

    Improper Notice
    For any kind of official Phase meeting to take place legally, the Condo Act requires a minimum of 5 days notice to all owners, and notice must be mailed or hand-delivered to each owner.  This notice was taped to garage doors literally ONE DAY before the meeting date......Also, off-site owners have no way to know about this meeting since notice was never mailed to them.

    Given that the meeting was improperly noticed, any vote that may take place (as the notice implies) will be invalid.

    What to expect
    Again, we have no way of knowing what the board has planned for this meeting.  There is a good chance that this meeting is an attempt, on the board's part, to pander to Robert Sher's will and re-hire him as the Phase V property manager.

    But it could also be a genuine attempt for these directors to communicate with homeowners about what a conundrum they were left with after Sher's ouster.  After seeing how Sher's poor decisions affected the HOC, perhaps they have finally decided to seek other management options.

    Are these directors interested in the greater good for their association?   Or are they simply puppets of Robert Sher?

    We'll have to find out tomorrow evening. We recommend you keep an open mind, but think critically.

    What you might want to ask
    Ask for a budget and ask how much money the phase has in the bank
    Ask about the status of Phase V's building insurance
    Ask when the next Phase Board election will take place
    Ask why only one day of notice was given for this meeting. If they wanted it to be well-attended, why such short notice?

    Please check the blog tomorrow afternoon (or check your email if you subscribe), as we may have more court information that pertains to Phase V.