VIDEO RELEASED BY ATTORNEYS FOR HOA IN FEDERAL FILING SYSTEM.
EXCLUSIVE: What Does It Show?
BY: ANDREW COLTON | EDITOR AND PUBLISHER
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DELRAY BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — BocaNewsNow.com has obtained the “tennis incident video” that started the chain of events leading to a $7M federal housing discrimination lawsuit against the Seven Bridges Delray Beach Homeowners Association. The video is below. If you are reading this in a news app and the video does not appear, just click here.
The video was provided by attorneys from Vernis and Bowling, representing the Seven Bridges Homeowners Association. It’s unclear if the HOA’s attorneys intended to make the video public in the federal filing system known as PACER. PACER stands for “Public Access To Court Electronic Records.”
The video, which provides clear audio but is largely shot with the camera facing down, allegedly documents the aftermath of a group of Seven Bridges women verbally assaulting children trying to play tennis. The women allegedly claim control of the courts while the kids are trying to play. When a girl protests, and the recording starts, you clearly hear one woman say, “you’re a little girl, you don’t speak to adults this way.” The video appears to be two clips edited together into one file.
One of the children is apparently the daughter of Deborah LaGrasso. LaGrasso is suing the Seven Bridges Homeowners Association for alleged discrimination that started when the HOA took action against her when she defended her children from the “tennis women.” She is accused of physically intervening but the video does not appear to document physical violence.
As things heat up, one woman screams that “there are lawyers on the court.” Another woman, presumably LaGrasso, responds, “I have a lawyer who doesn’t play tennis in the morning.”
While it’s unclear who is specifically heard on the video, BocaNewsNow.com obtained the list of women being deposed in the matter in a federal court filing titled “tennis incident.” At one point, presumably LaGrasso refers to the women playing tennis on a weekday morning as “old ladies who have nothing better to do.”
The women being deposed are: Jody Drucker Geller, Elana Danzer, Elana Ecker, Elana Andrews, Kirac Bekisoglu, Nicole Martin, Tawny Young, Nelda Raful, Helen Harris, Linda Martin, Vivian Levine. (It’s not a mistype, three of the eleven women are named Elana).
LaGrasso, frustrated with sanctions imposed by the HOA for her role in the matter, allegedly posted unflattering remarks about the Seven Bridges Board of Directors, and the community in general, on social media.
Several months later, LaGrasso and homeowner Rachel Tannenholz — who had nothing to do with the tennis incident — allegedly made derogatory comments about the other on social media. The HOA once again sanctioned LaGrasso, including for writing anti-Semitic and derogatory comments online. She was fined $5000 and prohibited from using HOA amenities for a year. When LaGrasso complained to the HOA about Tannenholz, however, the Board of Directors did nothing. Among the complaints allegedly ignored by the Board: LaGrasso’s assertion that Tannenholz told her to move to a community that isn’t primarily Jewish.
Tannenholz is Jewish. LaGrasso is not.
BocaNewsNow.com published the phone call that contained this language over the weekend — it was also released by attorneys for the HOA — but we have temporarily removed the file. Allegedly a secret recording, the phone call is the subject of a separate lawsuit. The audio file was included in the public PACER filing by attorneys for the Seven Bridges Homeowners Association.
Deborah Klingsberg, the attorney for Tannenholz, told BocaNewsNow.com that the conversation isn’t only illegally recorded, but just a small snippet of the call. Klingsberg said LaGrasso initiated the call with her client.
When the Seven Bridges Board of Directors did not sanction Tannenholz, LaGrasso came to the conclusion that she was being discriminated against for not being Jewish. Her federal lawsuit claims housing discrimination. A federal judge refused to dismiss the case against the HOA late last year.
Rachel Tannenholz, also a defendant in the case, was removed from the suit late last year as the judge said an individual homeowner isn’t a rightful defendant.
Tannenholz is separately suing LaGrasso in state court for violation of the “security of communication act” and “malicious prosecution.”
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