Q&A: Requesting Financial Info From the Co-op

Q. I am a duly-elected board member of my New York co-op.  I have requested financial information from our co-op's treasurer.  Although I have gotten various email responses from the treasurer that 'talk around' the subject and he says he will look into it, I still have not received the information. I am prohibited by board policy from contacting the co-op's accountant and the co-op's attorney (board policy is for only the board president to contact the accountant and attorney). It is now over a month since the treasurer said he would look into it. What are some actions that I can take to get this information?

                         —Seeking Transparency

A. “In general, this person should be entitled to certain co-op financial records,” says attorney David J. Byrne of Ansell Grimm & Aaron, which has offices in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.   “Without having the precise records sought identified, it is impossible to provide any specific direction.  However, the general rule still stands. The best approach, at least at this stage, may be to make a motion at the next board meeting to compel management to provide the following records to each member of the board:  X,  and/or a motion to authorize any member of the board to contact the board’s professional to obtain records.”

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