by Gary Nelson
MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Alex Daoud, was a vaunted three time mayor of Miami Beach. He traveled in the toniest of circles, hobnobbing with politicos, entertainers like Cab Calloway, pugilists like Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali, and even had an audience with her Majesty, the Queen of England.
But Daoud’s wonderful world came crashing down in the mid 90’s when he was caught up in a corruption probe, convicted of bribery, tax evasion and obstructing justice and did 18 months in the federal pen. He was facing a lot more time, but cooperated with investigators, even wearing a “wire” as they sought more givers and takers in Miami Beach’s then culture of graft.
Daoud, now 71, lives in a home in Miami Beach that he bought in 2006. But he might not be living there much longer. He is being sued by someone who wants the house, and wants him out of it. His daughter.
Daoud’s daughter, Kelly Hyman, an attorney with a high-powered Palm Beach law firm has launched a double-barreled lawsuit, seeking ownership of the house. She wants her father out.
“I really love her,” Daoud said of his daughter as he talked across his dining room table Friday with CBS4’s Gary Nelson. Daoud says the suit his daughter brought over the house came like a knife to the heart.
“She served me with papers that said I have to leave within 15 days, and she’s basically going to make me homeless,” Daoud said.
Daoud says when Kelly got married she morphed from a loving, caring daughter to a wolf at the door.
“I don’t know why – greed, or money, or whatever, why she turned on me,” he said.
Daud has stacks of court papers in the on-going lawsuit that has been nasty. The conflict grew intense enough to draw police to the house on one occasion when Daud said his daughter came to the property and there was a row.
The ownership conflict centers around Daoud’s purchase of the home in 2006. As his sizzling memoir, Sins Of South Beach, detailing life on the take was going to press, Daoud says his attorney advised him to purchase the house in the name of a corporation in order to protect it against potential libel suits arising from the tell-all book.
“At the time, my credit was lousy,” Daoud added. He says he brought his daughter in to co-sign as a guarantor on the mortgage through the corporation.
Kelly Hyman could not be reached for comment for this story, but a statement was provided to CBS4 News:
I formed the corporation, Bouganvilla Investments, that owns the house that my father lives in. I incorporated the company, and I am the only person who signed any of the corporate documents on behalf of the company to acquire the house. Those documents reflect that I am the only shareholder of the company. I signed the contract of sale for the house. I obtained the financing for Bouganvilla to purchase the house, including submitting the credit application and personally guaranteeing the mortgage.
The statement went on to say:
Despite the fact that I owned the company, I discovered that my father was trying to take that ownership away from me, including changing the officers and directors on Sunbiz to remove me. After attempting to resolve matters with my father which were not successful, I unfortunately had no choice but to file suit. I repeatedly offered my father an accommodation whereby he could stay in the house.
Hyman’s statement claims her father has the means to find housing comparable to the home he now lives in on Michigan Avenue, built in 1940 and showing its age.
Daoud insists that he has paid every penny on the mortgage, taxes and insurance for the house and has the paperwork to prove it. He has even provided, he says, for his no longer doting daughter. He says she lived with him and he paid her expenses through college and law school.
“In my will, the house was going to go half to her and half to my son,” he said.
Daoud hobbles about the house now with a cane on bum knees. He’s had one total knee replacement, the other knee is failing and he says he has high blood pressure and a bad heart.
“If I could just have one hope and prayer, it’s that at least we heal these wounds, my daughter and I, and end up as a family before I die,” he said, an event that he fears might be hastened by his litigious daughter.
“It’s practically killing me. It really is,” Daoud said, brushing back tears.