December 2009

In This Issue:


Message From The Interim Secretary,
Charlie Liem

Interim Secretary Charlie LiemI was honored to be chosen by Governor Charlie Crist to serve as the Interim Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.  For those of you who may be wondering what’s next, I’d like to make a simple point: the agency is not about who is Secretary, it is about the people who work here, and the mission the Governor and the Legislature have assigned us.

With the 2010 Legislative Session nearing, it is important that we maintain the same momentum we built over the past several years to remove unnecessary burdens and streamline processes.  Input from you, our licensees, often provides the most enlightening insight into what changes may need to be made.  Over the next several months, I look forward to developing bills that will enhance Florida’s business environment and make a direct impact on how we serve you. 

I’m grateful for the opportunity to shift from the Chief of Staff to Interim Secretary, and I look forward to continuing to make enhancements to better protect the public and support Florida’s economy. 

Sincerely,

Charlie Liem,
Interim Secretary

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Message From The Executive Director,
Anthony Spivey

Licensing Requirement for Community Association Management Firms

Important Reminder for All CAM Firms

Effective Jan. 1, 2009, all Community Association Management (CAM) Firms responsible for the management of more than 10 units or a budget of $100,000 or greater, must be licensed by the department to provide association management services. Although the law became effective at the first of the year, as of November we are seeing that many CAM Firms have not yet applied for licensure. Applications are available on the Web site.

The new CAM firm licenses will be renewed on Sept. 30 of odd-numbered years. Management firms that were previously registered with the department must be licensed if they are currently providing CAM services.  

A CAM Firm that is operating without a license will be considered to be conducting unlicensed activity and the department will take appropriate regulatory action. The penalty range is a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $5,000. Additionally, each management firm seeking licensure with the department must designate at least one Community Association Manager (CAM) who will respond to inquiries from and investigations by the department. If the management firm does not employ at least one licensed CAM, the management firm’s license will be invalid during that time period. The consequence for operating an unlicensed CAM firm can result in a monetary fine, reprimand, or revocation of the license. You may review frequently asked questions relative to the licensing of management firms at the following link: http://www.myflorida.com/dbpr/pro/cam/faq.html.

Until next time,
Anthony B. Spivey, Executive Director

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Accelerate Florida

In August of 2008, Governor Charlie Crist announced Accelerate Florida, his initiative to reduce or eliminate unnecessary regulation and to streamline licensing processes. To support the Governor’s initiative, the department reviewed its processes to determine where it could improve customer service and reduce regulatory barriers. The department submitted legislative proposals that became House Bill 425, which Governor Crist signed into law on June 16, 2009. HB 425 reduces regulatory requirements in order to assist individuals who are licensed or apply for licensure with the department. Its highlights include the following:

  • Removes notarization requirements for all applications and renewals in order to facilitate electronic submittals. Applicants can now sign an attestation statement regarding the accuracy of their submissions;
  • Eliminates the practical examination for barbers and restricted barbers, because practical theory is now included within the written examination;
  • Eliminates the requirement for a qualified business license for construction companies, because companies must already have a licensed qualifying agent who is responsible for the company’s actions;
  • Removes the requirement that applicants for registered contractor licenses provide a copy of a local occupational license, because most local jurisdictions require proof of a state contractor’s license before they will issue an occupational licenses;
  • Eliminates requirements for building code administrator applicants and licensees in construction-related professions to complete a core curriculum course on Florida Building Code training approved by the Florida Building Commission, because the statewide Florida Building Code has been in effect since March 1, 2002;
  • Removes the requirement for Certified Public Accountants to complete the Florida Laws & Rules Examination for license renewal and reactivation of an inactive license, because the Florida Laws & Rules requirement is fulfilled by the continuing education process;
  • Clarifies statutes to exclude attorneys practicing as a licensed real estate broker or agent from continuing education requirements under Chapter 475, Florida Statutes, if they are members in good standing of the Florida Bar;
  • Provides for greater consumer protection for clients who utilize talent agency services under part VII, Chapter 468, Florida Statutes; and
  • Authorizes the Florida State Boxing Commission to adopt criteria for approval of certain amateur sanctioning organizations and to adopt health and safety standards for amateur mixed martial arts.

The department also implemented improvements that did not require legislative changes. A complete list of Accelerate Florida improvements is available on our Web site at www.MyFloridaLicense.com by clicking on “Accelerate Florida.”

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Regulatory Council of Community Association Managers Department Disciplinary Actions

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation has taken disciplinary action against the following licensees. Although we make every effort to ensure information is correct, before making any specific decision based on this information you may choose to request a copy of the administrative complaint and final order to ensure accuracy. Contact the department’s Agency Clerk at sarah.wachman@dbpr.state.fl.us for this information.  The listing of disciplinary actions does not reflect pending appeals or requests for rehearing.

Sheldon S. Goldberg
Case No. 2008-047605

Respondent was charged with violations of Chapter 455 and Section 468.436 (2) (b) (5), Florida Statutes, and Rule 61E14-2.001(6) (a) Florida Administrative Code,  for failing to timely provide association records and documents upon request.  Discipline Imposed:  Respondent shall pay an administrative fine in the amount of $500 and costs in the amount of $433.27 and shall take at least three (3) hours of continuing education in community association record-keeping.

Kevin Thomas Hoggarth
Case No. 2008-045242

Respondent was charged in three counts with violations of Chapters 455 and Section 468.436 (2) (a), Florida Statutes, with making a fraudulent statement to the Association to induce the transfer of funds to him; Sections 468.436 (2) (a) and 455.227(1) (m) Florida Statutes, by forging an Association board member’s signature on one or more checks and violating Rule 61E14-2.001(7), Florida Administrative Code, by using association funds for his personal use.   Discipline Imposed:  Respondent’s License No. CAM 24002 is revoked.

Jean Louis Bourgeois
Case No. 2008-030039

Respondent was charged in two counts with violating of Section 468.436 (1)(b)(5),  Florida Statutes, by requesting and /or receiving kickbacks from contractors doing work for the association and Section 468.436 (2)(a), Florida Statutes,  through violation of Section 455.227(1)(m), Florida Statutes, by requesting and /or receiving kickbacks. Discipline Imposed:  Respondent’s CAM license No. 20536 is suspended for 10 years and Respondent shall not apply for reinstatement for a period of 10 years, and shall pay administrative costs of $787.12.

Paul George Dodson
Case No. 2008-018267

Respondent was charged with violations of Section 468.436(2)(b)5, Florida Statutes,  for failing to make the proper payment to a contractor for smoke detector installation or to return the remaining funds to the association. Discipline Imposed:  Respondent’s license No. CAM 22329 is revoked.

Christopher Ronald Marino
Case No. 2008-009670

Respondent was charged in three counts with violations of Section 468.436(1)(b)(5), Florida Statutes, through a violation of Rule 61-20.503(7), Florida Administrative Code,   by purchasing a laptop computer with association funds, Section 468.436 (1)(b)(5), Florida Statute, through a violation of Rule 61-20.503(7), Florida Administrative Code, by purchasing the laptop computer without the formal approval of the Association’s Board; and Section 468.436(1) (b) (3), Florida Statutes, through a violation of Rule 61-20.503(7), by pleading nolo contendre in Case No. 087008829CF10A,  to a felony charge of grand theft.  Discipline Imposed:  Respondent’s license, CAM 22300, is revoked.

Jesus R. Gonzalez
Case No. 2008-025676

Respondent was charged with violating Section 468.436(2)(b)5, Florida Statutes, by failing to make the proper payments to a contractor for the installation of smoke detectors or returning the remaining funds to the association. The second charge filed against Respondent was dismissed as part of a stipulated resolution.  Discipline Imposed:  Respondent’s license CAM 10159 is revoked.

Raul Aguilera
Case No. 2007-065018

Respondent was charged with violating Section 468.436(1) (a), Florida Statutes, by having violated Section 455.227 (1) (m), Florida Statutes.  Respondent elected to have a formal hearing and it was determined that the violation was proven by clear and convincing evidence, that Respondent made deceptive, untrue, or fraudulent representations in or related to the practice of his profession.  Discipline imposed:  Respondent is placed on probation for a period of 12 months upon the terms that he pay an administrative penalty in the amount of $750 dollars and pay administrative costs in the amount of $316.12 and attend 12 hours of continuing education in CAM practice.

Robert A. Dugger, Sr.
Case No. 2002-007094

Respondent was charged in a six count administrative complaint with violations of Section 468.436(1) (a), Florida Statutes, by violating Section 455.227 (1) (c) , Florida Statutes (Count I); Section 468.436 (1) (a), Florida Statutes, by violating Section 455.227 (1) (j), Florida Statutes (Count II); Section 468.436(1) (b)5, Florida Statutes, by violating Rule 61-20.503 (4) (b), Florida Administrative Code (Count III); Section 458.436 (1) (b) 5, Florida Statutes, by violating Rule 61-20.503 (6) (b), (Count IV); Section 458.436 (1) (b)5, Florida Statutes, by violating Rule 61-20.503 (6) (c), Florida Administrative Code, (Count V), and Section 458.436 (1) (b) 5, Florida Statutes, by violating Rule 61-20.503 (6) (d), Florida Administrative Code (Count VI). 

Respondent elected a formal hearing.  Counts II, III and V were dismissed before the hearing. Respondent was the CAM for Miramar Gardens Townhouse Homeowners’ Association, Inc. He was also a city commissioner for the City of North Bay Village, Florida and was charged with eight criminal violations by Dade County arising out of his activities as a city commissioner.  Respondent was convicted of only two of those criminal charges, and neither of his convictions directly involved his practice as a CAM. The Administrative Law Judge found that because all CAMS are involved in a fiduciary relationship with the associations they manage, it takes little expert testimony to support a finding that such a fiduciary relationship requires trust and integrity.  An Association must be able to assume that a CAM will fully disclose any possible conflict the CAM may have with the association’s vendors.

Clear and convincing evidence presented by the department proved that the Respondent was subject to discipline for being convicted of a crime that may directly affect his ability to serve as a CAM, for denying a resident access to certain records for a period of about two months and for failing to maintain the association’s records, specifically meeting minutes.  The Judge found several mitigating factors in favor of Respondent.   Discipline Imposed:  Respondent shall pay an administrative penalty in the amount of $1,500; his license, CAM 1148 is suspended; however the suspension is stayed and Respondent is placed on probation for a period of two (2) years pending satisfaction of the discipline imposed.

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New Reporting Requirement for Criminal Convictions

During the 2009 Legislative Session, the Florida Legislature passed House Bill 425, which became law on October 1, 2009. Beginning October 1, 2009, House Bill 425 requires all professional licensees to report to the department within 30 days of being convicted or found guilty of, or having plead nolo contendere or guilty to a crime in any jurisdiction. A licensee who fails to report that information, may be subject to disciplinary action, including fines, suspension or license revocation. To report this information, complete the criminal self-reporting document and mail to the department as provided on the form.

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New License Application Center

In our continuing effort to provide better customer service, we have improved our web site home page and created a user-friendly application center. We hope that these changes will make it easier for you to do business with us. The new features are intended to make the Web site more user-friendly and provide simple ways for our customers to find licensing information and requirements through detailed descriptions and helpful checklists.

The changes to the Web site include: new application features with a full list of license types, a list of detailed license requirements before each application, separate entry points for applications and renewals, and a new page called "What Services Require a DBPR License," which is designed to assist consumers with determining what services require a DBPR license.

Visit us on MyFloridaLicense.com.

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eNewsroom

e newsroom

Check out DBPR's eNewsroom, your source for important Department news and information. Here, you can watch public service announcements, read news releases, and subscribe to and flip through our publications.

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Visit us on the Web at www.MyFloridaLicense.com

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Regulatory Council of Community Association Managers

Governor

Charlie Crist


Interim Secretary

Charlie Liem


Council Members

Community Association Managers

Millard H. “Chris” Brown, Chair
Bradenton

Steven Czonstka
Niceville

Kelly Moran
Tampa

Patricia Rogers
Aventura

Consumer Members

Margaret A. Rogers
Orlando

Terence Brennan
Bradenton

Board Staff

Anthony B. Spivey
Executive Director

Renese Jones
Government Analyst

Upcoming Council Meetings

February 5, 2010
TBD

May 7, 2010
TBD

All meeting dates and locations are subject to change. Please verify meeting infomation on the department's
Board Meeting Calendar.

To view meeting schedules, agendas, and minutes, visit the council’s Web site. Meeting agendas will be posted approximately two weeks prior to the meeting.

Board Appointments

Are you interested in serving on a professional board or council?


The Regulatory Council for Community Association Managers has the following vacancies:

Community Association Manager (3)

Interested applicants may obtain a Gubernatorial Questionnaire by downloading the application.

Once your application is complete, mail the questionnaire for consideration to: Governor’s Appointments’ Office, PL01 The Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-0001

Report Unlicensed Activity


To report unlicensed activity, please call the Department’s Unlicensed Activity Hotline at 1.866.532.1440, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time)or e-mail the information to ULA@dbpr.state.fl.us

Subscribe to DBPR Newsletters


You can now subscribe on line at www.MyFloridaLicense.com to receive your profession’s newsletter as well as other Department publications via e-mail. Subscribing is very quick and easy.

  1. Go to www.MyFloridaLicense.com
  2. Select “Subscribe to Department Newsletters” located under The Bottom Line
  3. Type in your name and e-mail
  4. Choose which newsletters or publications you would like to receive via e-mail
  5. Select “Subscribe”

When the newsletters you have subscribed to are available, you will receive an e-mail from the Department with a link to your newsletter

Contact Information Updates


Please help us by notifying the Department when your address, telephone number, and/or e-mail changes. Service by regular mail to a licensee¹s last known address of record constitutes adequate and sufficient notice to the licensee for any official communication, so it is important that your contact information is correct.

You may change your mailing address using our online services at www.MyFloridaLicense.com. If you have any questions regarding this requirement, or need assistance using the online services menu, please telephone the Customer Contact Center at 850.487.1395 or use our convenient contact form to submit any comments and/or questions you may have. In order to better serve you, please include as much information as possible about the nature of your request.

The Correct Zip Code Makes a Difference!


The Department's Bureau of Central Intake and Licensure, located within the Division of Service Operations, receives and processes your license applications. To ensure your application and required documentation is sent directly to the Bureau of Central Intake and Licensure section for processing, always use the correct zip code, "plus-4" on all correspondence you send to us. The "plus-4" refers to the unique four-digit code that identifies the divisions and offices within the Department.

The proper zip code, plus-4 for the Bureau of Central Intake and Licensure is 32399-0783.

Thanks for helping us serve you better!

Visit us on the Web at www.MyFloridaLicense.com