Lawyer ignores state law in favor of Roberts Rules of Order to elect second place candidate, Donald Laird.
In a carefully worded legal opinion, John Guiterrez totally sidesteps the Mississippi statute that forbids members from voting twice by diluting a state law to their opinion:
From Guiterrez Opinion:
“Our opinion is that a member who owns multiple lots should be allowed only
one vote in officer and director elections, regardless of how many member accounts
or member numbers they have. We understand that one member may be given
multiple numbers based on particular language of conveyance contained in their
deeds. However, we have not been provided with the specifics of that practice of
assigning member numbers. We strongly advise that this procedure be reviewed
and evaluated for conformance to the Charter and Bylaws.”
The state statute is clear and needs no interpretation.
79-11-215. Each member to have one vote.
(1) Unless the articles or bylaws provide otherwise, each member is entitled to one (1) vote on each matter voted on by the members.
(2) Unless the articles or bylaws provide otherwise, if a membership stands of record in the names of two (2) or more persons, their acts with respect to voting shall have the following effect:
(a) If only one (1) votes, such act binds all; and
(b) If more than one (1) votes, the vote shall be divided on a pro rata basis.
The controversy arose when a ballot was counted twice at the 2016 Diamondhead Country Club and Property Owners Association election of officers and directors on June 18, 2016. The ballot contained a number a numeral “2” and was subsquently counted twice for Donald Laird. According to the logic of Guiterrez a fraudulent ballot does not constitute a recount or correction of the results.
Gutierrez’a opinion in its entirty:160628-opinion-ltr-re-election