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Judge: Defamation Case Against Conway Can Go Forward


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A lawsuit claiming that Key Biscayne Village Council candidate Louisa Conway defamed, harassed, and retaliated against a former Key Colony manager can go forward, a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge said Wednesday.

The Key Colony Homeowners’ Association, which is led by Conway, scheduled a special closed-door session for later tonight (Wednesday) to discuss the case. Conway declined comment, citing pending litigation.

The claims are contained in a lawsuit filed by Erik Goff, who managed the Key Colony master association before he was terminated in April of last year, the suit claims. The suit seeks back pay and other damages against the Association, Conway, former HOA president Antonio Camejo, and former director Gustavo Tellez. It also alleges the Association improperly interfered with Goff’s business by violating a non-compete agreement, and that his firing was in retaliation for reporting harassment, violating Florida’s civil rights and whistleblower laws.  

The defamation count against Conway alleges that she falsely told a condominium unit owner that Goff had lost Association money and in effect accused him of committing a crime. It claims Conway “made the false statement willfully and maliciously and with the specific intent to damage Goff,” causing unspecified damages. A defamation count against Camejo alleges that Camejo circulated a letter last October to residents of the 1,179-unit community — the island’s largest —  that said “red flags” were discovered that supported firing Goff.  

Lawyers for the Association asked Circuit Court Judge Gina Beovides to dismiss the case, saying Goff was improperly trying to use anti-discrimination and whistleblower statutes, and that the entire matter should be dismissed. Attorney Stefan Segall also argued that imprecise wording and a lack of specificity about the alleged type of discrimination made it impossible for the Association to mount a defense. Judge Beovides agreed, saying Goff’s attorney needed to clarify the specifics of those two allegations. She gave Goff ten days to file an amended complaint for those two allegations. The other six counts remain.

Conway, who is running for one of three open seats on the Key Biscayne Village Council, declined to comment. Camejo, who is still a board member at Key Colony and is the president of the Key Biscayne Condominium President’s Council, also declined comment.  

Tellez, who recently filed a lawsuit challenging a contested $100 million resiliency bond, said “I am glad that the judge dismissed without prejudice some counts and that the plaintiff’s attorneys now have to amend their complaint to proceed with this complaint.” He declined further comment.


Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.

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