Storming the Castle

Hallandale Beach and a Broward judge are trying to drive a man from his home

When I asked Galina Sachenko about the case, she said neither she nor her husband speaks English well and hung up on me.

There may be a good reason for their evasiveness. Pelecanos appears to have proof that the extended contract is phony. He showed me documents from the Sachenkos' previous closing agent asking him to sign the contract extension, dated November 4 and November 22, 2004. Yet the dubious contract extension filed in court by the Sachenkos' attorney, Evan Byer, is dated October 22 of that year.

Why would Pelecanos be asked to sign a contract that he had allegedly already signed?

It's a laughable case. Reppas calls it "worthless." But, just Pelecanos' luck, the judge assigned to it is... Henning.

Not surprisingly, the judge denied Reppas' motion to dismiss the suit, so the bizarre case continues to drag on. Henning has also denied Pelecanos' motion to overturn the $2.8 million judgment — and she did it without so much as allowing a hearing on the matter.

Pelecanos says he's borrowing money from his brother to defend himself from both the city and the mysterious Sachenkos. The fight, however, has taken a toll on the house, which continues to crumble. Hurricane Wilma left two holes in the roof.

And it's had a similar effect on him, evidenced by a missing front tooth. "My health is bad from all the stress," he says. "My blood pressure is through the roof. I passed out and broke the tooth on the side of the bed. My doctor said it was because of the high blood pressure."

But Pelecanos says he's going to keep fighting. He sent letters complaining about Judge Henning to former Chief Judge Dale Ross and the Florida Bar. Both Ross and the Bar, however, wrote him back to say they couldn't help.

"You are doing the right thing by appealing," Ross wrote him on April 26. "Good luck."

With Henning still in charge of his legal fate, he'll need it.

"I want everyone to know what corruption there is in this county," Pelecanos says.

"They tell us to obey the laws and they don't obey the laws themselves. Why this crap happen in America?"

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