Was there inadvertent participation by the CCFJ or did they know?

On Monday, January 10th 2005, the CCFJ published an article called HOA — Couple Faces Climbing Fees In Community ( and on January 27th the CCFJ published another article called HOA — Better Fences Make Angry Neighbors (

These reports are alleged to have been an instrument used by Mr. Shaun Goeckner, President of the current Copper Ridge Community HOA Board, in order to make his argument to recall the board of 2005 and later place himself in a board seat in the Copper Ridge Community. Records in show that Mr. Goeckner has been a board member since 2008.

This was brought to the attention of Mr. Jan Bergemann, President, of Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc. (CCFJ), who told our investigative reporter in a phone call on February 20th 3:02 p.m. that, “he doesn’t want to get involved in that case and that he doesn’t care what happens there.” Mr. Jan Burgemann hung up on our investigative reporter. In an email communication, Mr. Bergemann doubled down by saying “Please don’t bother me with your nonsense!” and denied the statements he had made over the initial phone communication.

At the time of CCFJ’s reports, Mr. Goeckner was a convicted felon and didn’t have his civil rights restored until 2013 when obtaining a seat on the board between 2008 to 2018. Consequently, these are the consecutive years of violations of Sec. 720.306(9)(b) of the Florida statutes which states, “A person who has been convicted of any felony in this state or in a United States District or Territorial Court, or has been convicted of any offense in another jurisdiction which would be considered a felony if committed in this state, may not seek election to the board and is not eligible for board membership unless such felon’s civil rights have been restored for at least 5 years as of the date on which such person seeks election to the board.

You can learn more about Copper Ridge Community’s recent elections here, and the homeowner’s civil case against Mr. Goeckner, Mr. Hirtzel, and Mrs. Maria Valdez.

Did the CCFJ know in 2005 that Mr. Goeckner – who was looking to recall the board at that time – was a convicted felon and didn’t have his civil rights restored in the Commonwealth of Virginia until 2013 where the felony charges originated?

And does the CCFJ have any comments on how their reports could have allegedly aided Mr. Goeckner’s argument in recalling the 2005 board to then acquire a seat no later than 2008?

This does give the impression that the HOA reform interest and mission of the CCFJ may have been inadvertently compromised. According to a copy provided by one of CCFJ’s members in July 2023, they received donations from Mr. Goeckner and Camen Maria Valdez, the current board Secretary and Vice President of the Copper Ridge Community.

Along with Thomas Hirtzel, the current board Treasurer of the Copper Ridge Community, they have yet to provide the missing contracts according to court filings. While more records were provided after the legal complaint was filed, there are still missing contracts that are yet to be provided.

You can read more about the community’s complaints with records here over a matter in which funds were allegedly used to pay for another community’s monthly meeting expenses. In addition, you can read about the past Treasurer requesting records and access to view bank records and being denied.


According to a newsletter published in 2023, CCFJ thanked Mr. Shaun Goeckner and Mrs. Maria Valdez for their donations.

The People’s Olive Branch obtained a copy by a source who is a member of the CCFJ. The People’s Olive Branch did try to obtain a second copy from Mr. Jan Bergemann of the CCFJ, however, he hung up on our investigative reporter. Below is the confirmation of donation to CCFJ from Mrs. Valdez and Mr. Goeckner.

A second source was able to verify that donations were accepted for “the cause”, by Mr. Bergemann from Mr. Goeckner. These are the very same board members withholding records from homeowners and who were part of the votes needed to change the bylaws in an effort to double the quorum just 2 months before the election.

Under what name the donation was done hasn’t been fully verified by our team, but money is fungible. Whether it was paid to CCFJ or Mr. Bergemann himself does raise questions. Unfortunately, he refused to comment any further.

How is the CCFJ a source to protect the HOA homeowners when the very same donors are board members who are withholding records from the Copper Ridge community and arguably, amended bylaws to their benefit in the 2022 election?

Similarly, the CCFJ, which reports on HOA complaints, hasn’t said anything about the current cases or complaints Mr. Goeckner is currently associated with in the Copper Ridge Community. Some have argued that this does give the impression of a conflict of interest as the newsletter is said to have been published on the week of July 23, 2023, and Mr. Goeckner’s Nextdoor post insinuating CCFJ’s support for their actions was published on August 2nd 2023, which was less than two weeks after the donation was alleged to be reported in the newsletter.

Are the donations stopping them from reporting on his case or complaints?


On Nextdoor Mr. Goeckner defended how the board amended the bylaws, insinuating that the CCFJ agrees with the methods employed by Mr. Goeckner and the other 3 board members Carmen Maria Valdez, Thomas Hirtzel, and former board member Tim Furr to limit the voting rights of the membership by doubling the quorum 2 months before the election. Ms. Catchings and Mrs. Gay argued that proper notice was not given. The homeowners were not aware that the Bylaws were going to be amended.

Mr. Goeckner argues that they did hold a properly noticed meeting. Which obfuscates the process for the annual meeting and amendment of bylaws that require proper notice. However, according to homeowners, the notice did not mention any amendment to the bylaws as per Robert’s Rules of Order which is cited in the Bylaws, along with other inconsistencies.

Are they still in agreement with Mr. Goeckner in the way he and the other majority board members amended the bylaws in an effort to double the quorum to allegedly strip the homeowners of their right to choose the members that would take the seats that year?


Case number 22-CA-005776 shows a list of missing contracts. In communications with forensic auditing firms that The People’s Olive Branch works with, they have stated that some of the ways they uncover kickbacks are through contracts, and without them, it makes the process of uncovering kickbacks that much more difficult if access to bank accounts isn’t being provided. Consequently, the HOA board under Mr. Goeckner’s leadership and First Service Residential have been withholding bank access to the previous Treasurer, Ms. Catchings, who has requested access since 2021 and 2022.

If the CCFJ is proud to have board members like Mr. Goeckner and Maria Valdez donate to their organization, can they explain to their readers why the CCFJ would accept donations from individuals undertaking such actions? one could surmise that it goes against their understood mission and goals.

If the CCFJ believes that the Copper Ridge HOA board is doing the right thing, then can the CCFJ verify with Mr. Goeckner himself (A donor of the CCFJ) access to the missing records and provide these records to the homeowners of the Copper Ridge Community?

Will the CCFJ do this? As of today, it seems the answer is no, arguably, considering Mr. Bergemann’s response.

A list of missing contracts has been filed with the court but these are not the only records to be allegedly missing, this is just a sample.

Does the CCFJ believe that getting donations from board members who are using their name as a source that agrees with them to allegedly push a narrative that they handled the election process accordingly, is the right stance for their organization over the homeowner’s interest?

Reaching out for Comments from Jan Bergemann, President of CCFJ

Upon communicating with Jan Bergemann, President of CCFJ In a phone call on February 20th 3:02 p.m. He was made aware that a PDF document with findings of CCFJ’s potential or inadvertent assistance to a convicted felon with 2 published reports in 2005 was allegedly used by Mr. Goeckner to strengthen his argument in an effort to recall the Copper Ridge HOA board of 2005.

Mr. Bergemann responded by saying that “he doesn’t want to get involved in the case that Copper Ridge has and that he doesn’t care what happened to Copper Ridge.” He followed that by stating that “Our organization is small…” and “to watch what we publish.”  

In the conversation, Mr. Bergemann became abrasive and defensive, he stated that he never received our pdf document and hung up on the investigative journalist after 2 minutes and 54 seconds.

Mr. Bergemann sent an email reply to our investigator’s request for comment, which was met with a response stating, “Please don’t bother me with your nonsense!” and followed it by denying that he said what was repeated back to him.

In a follow-up email, Mr. Jan Bergemann stated, “You can inform anybody you want. I don’t care about nonsense.

Later, a second source who communicated with Mr. Bergemann, stated that Mr. Bergemann said that the case related to the individual who donated to him was dismissed twice. However, this is the same argument that Mr. Goeckner uses on Nextdoor neighborhood app without context, giving the impression that Mr. Bergemann hasn’t done his research in case number 22-CA-005776.

The first dismissal was a technical filing of derivative action that the court of the 13th Judicial Circuit disagreed with; the Judge stated that “derivative action follows a more formal process”, that case was amended and refiled and was last filed with the appeals court. The dismissal of the records request on a separate case, but related matter was also done by the same Judge in the 13th Judicial Circuit without the records being provided and after the Judge directed the HOA counsel to make them available to the opposing counsel.

Why would a Judge direct the HOA board to provide the records, but then dismiss the case after a court filing was submitted to hold the Copper Ridge HOA legal counsel, Greg Grossman in contempt of court for allegedly making a false or incorrect statement to the court?

The Judge did not allow this to move forward as he dismissed all cases in one clean sweep before the hearing for contempt of court could be scheduled, which would have provided some justice to the homeowners fighting for more transparency. In addition, the order itself had many inconsistencies with the governing documents – arguably, in our analysis – these details will be provided in a later report.

This investigation is in progress, more details will be provided in a later report. If you have any information on HOA board behaving unethically or in a legal case, please contact our investigative team via our contact form or at