Q&A: Board Member Violation?

Q.  An owner in our HOA reported to one of our board members on another owner who allegedly broke the rules. The board member then disclosed to the alleged rule-breaker that he/she had been reported. It has now caused friction and even an attempted confrontation between the alleged rule-breaker and the reporting owner.  

Should there be any ramifications for the board member for divulging this information? It seems like I’ve read somewhere in the past that board members must keep that type of information confidential, and that it is grounds for immediate resignation if they don’t. Please help if possible.

 —Concerned About Opening a Pandora’s Box

A. Says George C. Greatrex, Jr., an attorney for the law firm of Shivers, Gosnay & Greatrex, LLC, in Cherry Hill: “This is an often-asked question. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer because there are no statutory provisions or common law holdings that directly apply.  However, there are ramifications for the board member who divulges confidential information, and options for the board when that occurs.  

“A common interest community association and its board of directors/trustees by law have a fiduciary obligation to the corporation itself and to its unit owners that requires the board to make decisions for the protection of the association and each of its member owners. Further, board members are required by law to discharge their duties in good faith and with that degree of diligence, care and skill which ordinary prudent persons would exercise under similar circumstances.  

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