A management company for a local subdivision is under investigation by outside attorneys.
An Action News Jax investigation has uncovered the detailed findings after allegations of mismanagement, retaliation and unlawful discrimination.
Problems with the maintenance of the swimming pools, employees ordered to work at other businesses and employees being paid under the table are all allegations mentioned in the investigation report, which looks into the conduct of Julington Creek Plantation Development District’s general manager, Angi Palmieri.
"From what I saw here, this is probably a three-week investigation. It wouldn't surprise me at all that an investigation at this level cost $30,000 to $40,000," Action News Jax Law and Safety expert Dale Carson said.
The board of supervisors for the Julington Creek Plantation Community Development District hired Elite Amenities as their management company in 2015. That’s when Palmieri became general manager.
Action News Jax’s past investigation revealed problems with chemical levels in the pools that led the district to close some of them.
According to a new report compiled by a Florida attorney, several employees told investigators the problems didn’t stop there.
They said a food company hired by Palmieri to operate the district’s cafe still owes the district between $7,000 to $10,000 for alcohol. It says a payment plan is in the works.
"If this investigation is accurate, then the contract with this management company needs to be canceled," Carson said.
Palmieri sent Action News Jax a statement that reads:
"I was surprised and saddened to read the many false allegations from disgruntled employees (previous and current) contained in a so-called "Investigation Report" compiled by an Orlando law firm. Many names were specifically mentioned in the report, however, several employees who were interviewed have told us their comments were partially reported, and most importantly, they were supposed to be confidential. In fact, I was even misquoted.
"The report is littered with rumors, hearsay and wild subjective allegations of mismanagement and misuse of resources. Our attorney is currently reviewing these unsubstantiated allegations. I can only guess as to what is behind this coordinated attack on our company.
"I was selected by the Julington Creek Plantation Community Development District Board of Supervisors in April 2015 as the result of a competitive bid process to manage the community amenities. A complete list of all of our accomplishments has been documented through minutes and General Manager reports to date. In addition, as part of the strategic direction from the JCPCDD Board, we were instructed to do an analysis, right-size the staff and improve efficiencies, while upgrading management of the facilities, which had previously been managed 'in house' by JCPCDD staff."
There are also allegations that Palmieri told a lifeguard who was on duty to go to other properties managed by Elite.
"There's a diminishing in the protection, in this case, lifeguards. The swimmers and their safety to the benefit to someone else,” Carson said.
The report says lifeguards also told investigators they were paid with personal checks.
"That's a violation of IRS law and it hurts the individual employees and they don't get proper accounting with social security," Carson said.
The management company’s contract is also in the report. It states the Julington Creek Plantation Community Development District can terminate the agreement within 30 days written notice without cause or if they fail to perform within the terms.
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