You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Condo owners fight back against former sober home operator

A ragtag alliance of West Palm Beach condo owners is suing a former sober home operator who they say overtook their association, hired bully security guards, and is forcing them out with monthly fees that rival high-end gated communities.

The March lawsuit raises the claims against the Green Terrace Condominium Association and Ken Bailynson, who owns 36 of the community’s 84 units, is a member of the governing board, and founded Good Decisions Sober Living.

While staging a condominium coup is extreme, attorneys who specialize in association law warn it can happen in the type of shared communities so abundant in South Florida.

“This kind of nightmare is possible if you’re not diligent and don’t stand up for yourself,” said West Palm Beach attorney William Pincus, who is representing the Green Terrace unit owners.

Green Terrace owners say the takeover began with Good Decisions, which was headquartered at the complex and housed recovering addicts there until it was raided by the FBI in September and closed. Bailynson has not been charged with any crime in relation to the raid.

But unit owners, some of whom testified during a daylong hearing last week that continues Monday, complain Bailynson wants the 42-year-old community for himself and is willing to skirt the law to get it.

“Bailynson treats the association as if he owns all of it, as if it is a kingdom and he is the king,” the lawsuit states. “The (association) board members essentially act as his minions and vote as he directs.”

Attorneys representing Bailynson did not return calls for comment last week, but in legal documents they call the accusations against him “sensational” and a “far-reaching conspiracy.”

The lawsuit, which is being heard by Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Gregory Keyser, seeks to bar Bailynson and the association from taking out two loans totaling $4 million to do repairs and renovations on Green Terrace units.

The loans, the first of which carries a 24 percent interest rate, would come from a company called BOK Lending II, which is managed by Ken Bailynson. Bailynson is also listed as the firm’s registered agent.

If the loans are approved, monthly assessments are expected to increase to $2,000 per month.

“We are so afraid we are going to lose our homes,” said Angela Ciriello, whose mother, Vicki Lynn Ciriello, bought her Green Terrace unit in 2011 for $12,000. “We are not loaded with cash. It’s obvious Ken wants everything.”

Green Terrace’s problems began before Bailynson started picking up units in 2011. A state investigation found that association meeting minutes hadn’t been taken for at least seven years, and records before 2013 are missing — allegedly stolen out of the truck of a previous board president.

There was no reserve fund until last year, and the City of West Palm Beach declared the condominium a chronic nuisance because its state of disrepair.

Today, a massive renovation to replace siding, decks and windows is ongoing, but it’s something some residents say they can’t afford and weren’t told about.

Pincus said Bailynson stacked the association board with former Good Decisions employees. The lawsuit says he sold them their units for as little as $10 and pays their association fees. While Bailynson owns 36 units in his name, the association owns an additional 17. That means, between them, they own 63 percent of the community.

At last week’s hearing, Pincus said the board members who testified didn’t know the specifics of things they had voted to approve.

“The directors looked like they had no clue about the details,” Pincus said. “They knew they had approved renovations, but didn’t know what it entailed or what it was costing. They knew they had approved security, but not how much it cost.”

The lawsuit claims the board paid $134,900 for security last year. Unit owners say they are intimidated by the guards, who patrol the small complex in golf carts, and act as Bailynson’s “personal bodyguards.”

Eric Mccabe, an owner who rents out his units, said he used to visit the complex monthly, but now feels it is a “hostile situation.”

“You are immediately greeted by these big guys and it’s like a shakedown,” McCabe said on the witness stand Tuesday. “They’re asking ‘Where are you going, what’s your purpose here, what do you need.’”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Nation & World

Selfies could be causing more cases of lice in teenagers
Selfies could be causing more cases of lice in teenagers

Many experts say head lice infestations are at their peak during this time of the year as kids head off to summer camp. A Jacksonville, Florida, woman who owns a lice treatment center said it's most common with young children, but she's also seen an increase in cases of head lice in teens. Mandy Ottesen owns Fresh Heads. She said it’s very important...
Puppy rescued from extreme heat in locked car must go back to owner, court says
Puppy rescued from extreme heat in locked car must go back to owner, court says

An 8-week-old puppy that was rescued from extreme heat in a locked car last weekend will be returned to its owner, the Manor Municipal Court ruled Thursday. Manor police, which charged the puppy’s owner with animal cruelty, had hoped to win custody of the dog, named Annabelle, so they could hand her over to an animal shelter. “The...
2 teens investigated after painting over rainbow crosswalk
2 teens investigated after painting over rainbow crosswalk

The community of Medfield, Massachusetts, is coming together after an act of vandalism. A rainbow-colored crosswalk at the high school will need to be repainted after two teens defaced it Wednesday night. Police said the teens then shared photos of the vandalism on Snapchat. One picture showed one of the teens believed to be responsible for the vandalism...
Canadian special forces claim record 2-mile sniper kill shot
Canadian special forces claim record 2-mile sniper kill shot

An anonymous Canadian military source said one of their special forces snipers has shattered the world record for the longest confirmed kill shot at a distance of over 2 miles. The source told Toronto’s Globe and Mail that a member of the Canadian “Joint Task Force 2,” an elite special operation unit, made the shot last month...
Say it ain’t so! This Disney park listed as top tourist trap
Say it ain’t so! This Disney park listed as top tourist trap

What would you say is the worst tourist trap in Florida? No, not St. Augustine’s cheesy wax museums or the Skunkape Headquarters in the Everglades? Yes, that’s a real thing. According to Business Insider, it’s Epcot. The world-is-your-oyster destination, where one can eat, drink or just travel around the globe in a day&rsquo...
More Stories