First published: Nov 2023
The Vote Must Be Wrong
TAKEAWAY If a board member feels that an election is questionable, he or she would be wise to make sure there are enough facts to back up the claim. It appears that in this case the former board president may have been so aggrieved that she didn’t obtain the board position she wanted that she was willing to spend her time and money, and that of the co-op’s also, to challenge the election outcome without the necessary proof. Unfortunately, lawsuits such as this tend to affect the collegiality of any board, and while it’s unclear why, the decision in this case points out that the president of this board has already resigned.
BOARD ALYX KILIAN V. 220/67 OWNERS CORP ET AL
WHAT HAPPENED At 220 East 67th St, Alyx Kilian, a former board president and current board member, challenged the co-op’s 2022 board election. Ten candidates ran for office, and Kilian received the fifth highest number of votes. After the election results were tallied, the directors elected a president (who was second in votes) and a vice-president (who was fourth in votes). Kilian wanted the election results to be set aside for several reasons and filed a petition to make that happen. She alleged a discrepancy between the number of shares actually cast and the number of votes that were counted by the election inspectors; that because the newly elected president and vice-president were not shareholders and/or members of the co-op they were not eligible to serve on the board or be elected as officers; that the election inspector was improperly appointed; and that in the past the co-op’s attorney had given her a spreadsheet showing who voted for whom, but now she was only able to get a final vote tally from the property’s managing agent, who had served as the election inspector.
IN COURT Alyx Kilian was not successful in persuading the court. The court found that there were no irregularities in the election result; the managing agent was entitled to be appointed inspector of election, as it had been for many years including the time period when Kilian was serving as the board president; and that a final vote tally that included a breakdown of how many votes each candidate received was sufficient. The court found there was no basis to allow Kilian to see which neighbors voted for her and who voted against her. COUNSEL For Alyx Kilian STEVEN LANDY, DAVID WOLF Landy Wolf / For the co-op corporation and individual board members MARIA BOBORIS, MANU DAVIDSON Braverman Greenspun / Judge Arlene P. Bluth