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Another Key Biscayne condominium erupted into chaos Thursday with four leaders quitting amid a unit owner recall drive. Among those resigning from the Casa Del Mar condo was  Ignacio Segurola, a former Village Council member.

One of the driving issues: the status of two dozen enclosed balconies and claims that condo officials threatened unit owners without justification. The 27-story tower, the tallest structure on the Island, overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. 

In an email to unit owners provided to the Independent, Segurola said the number of recall ballots was insufficient for his removal and that of other directors, but that he would resign from his post “effective immediately.” 

Also resigning was the president of the board, Diana Garmendia. She quit Tuesday as ballots were being collected – though she said it was for health reasons. 

Two other board members facing recall — Silvia Rotemberg and Nicolas Escallon — also submitted resignations, according to another email blast sent to owers. The emails were provided by a resident who declined to be identified over fears of retaliation. 

The recall effort started out just focused on Vice President Segurola, but it spread to other members of the seven-member board, residents said.

Dr. George Ibars, another resident, was blunt: “We have gone through six months of harassment – some would say terror”  by the board of directors.

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Key Biscayne Council Member Ignacio Segurola speaks at a meeting, July 2, 2019. Segurola resigned Thursday from the board at the Casa Del Mar condominium after residents launched a recall drive (KBI Photo/Tony Winton)

Residents told the Independent building management posed the enclosed balcony issue as a costly compliance dispute with the Village of Key Biscayne, but Village officials said no demands had been made. 

The recall effort at Casa del Mar follows another major upheaval of the board at EmeraldBay in June. There, President Louisa Conway and Vice President Tony Camejo lost a bid for re-election after word spread of a criminal investigation at the complex. 

The probe led to the arrest of the property manager for allegedly stealing maintenance fees from one unit. The EmeraldBay Association was also fending off two lawsuits. 

Like Conway and Camejo, Segurola is a political player on Key Biscayne. He decided to not seek re-election, but since then has become prominent in the Key Biscayne Neighborhood Association, a group often critical of Village government. 

A voicemail left with a cell phone listed to Segurola seeking comment was not immediately returned.

JOHN PACENTI is the executive editor of the Key Biscayne Independent. John has worked for The Associated Press, the Palm Beach Post, Daily Business Review, and WPTV-TV.


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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