Lawsuit has no bearing on Lake Wildwood’s plans
Planned improvements in Lake Wildwood are in no way connected to a lawsuit filed by a resident alleging several of the gated communities’ amenities were improperly maintained, homeowners association board president Marty Domagala said Monday.
Upcoming plans to expand the community center and add a new security building and marina docks were already part of Lake Wildwood’s community and golf course master plans prior to the lawsuit, filed in April 2006 by part-time resident Bill Husbands, Domagala said.
In the lawsuit, Husbands alleged the Penn Valley community’s lake was polluted, the golf course was improperly maintained, and at least $190,000 was lost in 2005 through poor management of the clubhouse, where inventory was not kept and bills, alcohol and food purchase receipts were not reconciled.
Husbands also alleged general manager Bill Haushalter received “kickbacks,” or perks, in the form of goods or money from vendors in exchange for contracts with Lake Wildwood, and Haushalter did not have the experience or finesse to manage the facilities.
However, the Lake Wildwood Association board announced to its members in a newsletter earlier this year that the lawsuit had been settled and dismissed to the tune of $20,000, paid to Husbands by the association’s insurance company, Domagala said.
“The $20,000 settlement was intended for (Husbands) to drop the lawsuit,” Domagala said. “That’s the reason it was paid.”
Eighteen months of pretrial discovery also showed that there had been no kickbacks from vendors to Haushalter, he said.
“The lawsuit at its base was an attempt to remove the general manager from Lake Wildwood,” Domagala said.
While Haushalter intends to retire at the end of July, his decision – much like the planned grounds improvements – have nothing to do with the lawsuit, he added.
“His retirement is at his own volition,” Domagala said.
The association board is “in the final throes” of hiring a general manager, while Domagala declined to identify the new hire.
As part of the settlement, Husbands and the board agreed they “will not disparage one another either privately or publicly,” according to case records provided by association attorney David Worthington.
Worthington declined to speak about the settlement.
Husbands’ attorney, David Frenzick, could not be reached for comment, and Husbands, who resides part of the year in Minnesota, did not answer the telephone at his Lake Wildwood home Monday.
In addition to the $20,000 settlement, the Lake Wildwood Homeowners Association spent $125,000 in attorney’s fees, paid by the association’s insurance company, plus a $15,000 deductible on the insurance policy and $750 for an independent legal review of Haushalter’s contract, Domagala said.
To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4236.
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