9 Investigates

FHP terminates contract with embattled HOA after trooper asked to trespass homeowner

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The Florida Highway Patrol has terminated a contract for off-duty patrols inside a Kissimmee community after a trooper was asked to enforce a fake trespass warning to a homeowner.

Channel 9 investigative reporter Karla Ray has been following a back and forth legal battle between neighbors and the home owners association management company in the Turnberry Reserve neighborhood for months.

Only law enforcement can issue a trespass warning, but the property management and security team in the community have issued so-called “trespass notices” to homeowners here before.

READ: Turnberry homeowners sue HOA board, management firm

And in at least two incidents caught on camera, they tried, and failed, to have actual law enforcement back them up.

Cellphone video taken last week in the playground and pool area of Turnberry Reserve shows a Florida Highway Patrol trooper approaching homeowner Waleska Herzog.

According to the trooper’s incident report, security officer Ailyn Depena said that Herzog was violating a trespass warning.

READ: Kissimmee property manager accuses commissioner of ‘slanderous,’ ‘malicious’ statements

Herzog said the notice was issued to her by the Turnberry HOA property management company, Management 35 Firm.

“This is not an actual trespass. I would be the one to issue a trespass,” the trooper says when shown the notice.

Herzog said she wasn’t doing anything wrong.

“I am not trespassing. I'm not breaking any laws. I'm just there playing with my kids,” she said.

A week before that incident, video was taken of an Osceola County deputy clearly explaining the law to Management 35 owner Sherry Raposo.

READ: Ex-cop-turned-felon found in violation of state law following Channel 9 investigation

Raposo: “You’re saying it’s a civil matter because they live here?”

Deputy: “It's an HOA and they pay dues.”

Raposo: “I'm sorry, so if I go get her ledger and show she hasn't paid dues…”

Deputy: “It's a civil matter as well.”

Deputy: “It’s a homeowners’ association, not a ‘you’ association.”

FHP said its troopers will not be used to bully or intimidate homeowners.

Lt. Kim Montes said she now questions whether hiring her agency for an off-duty-detail was merely an attempt by Management 35 to obtain a real trespass warning against Herzog.

“He was put out there, and, when he was asked to do this, was possibly there to intimidate those homeowners, and we’re not going to participate in that,” Montes said. “We will not be doing anything else with Management 35.”

There is an ongoing state investigation into the property management company and its security manager, Joseph Conover.

Conover is a convicted felon who is now accused of performing security work without a license.

Stay tuned to Eyewitness News for updates.

Karla Ray

Karla Ray, WFTV.com

Karla Ray anchors Eyewitness News This Morning on Saturday and Sundays, and is an investigative reporter for the 9 Investigates unit.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.