Lexington, KY

Judge's ruling favors landlord: Ignorance of law can be defense

June 18, 2008
In a major blow to the federal government, a federal judge ruled Tuesday that an indicted Lexington landlord can use his ignorance of the law as a defense in a harboring trial scheduled to start next week.
     William Jerry Hadden, 69, goes to trial Monday on charges that he harbored 60 illegal immigrants by allowing them to rent apartments at two Cardinal Valley apartment complexes in Lexington.
     The trial is thought to be the first time the federal government has prosecuted a landlord for renting to illegal immigrants, defense attorneys have said in court filings.
     Hadden's defense attorneys have steadfastly maintained his innocence and claim that the federal government is twisting the intent of harboring laws. Tuesday's ruling will allow defense attorneys to argue at trial that even if Hadden broke the law, he cannot be convicted because the law is confusing and vague and he did not understand it.

Prosecution of landlords worries activists, ACLU

March 23, 2008
Immigration activists and the ACLU are accusing the federal government of overreaching in the prosecution of two Lexington landlords who had rented to 60 illegal immigrants.
     The case, possibly the first of its kind in Kentucky, potentially places landlords in the uneasy situation of being on the front lines of the U.S. crackdown on illegal immigration. It's a task that opens the door for discrimination claims and is something landlords are not trained to do, say civil libertarians and lawyers for landlords and immigrants.
     The charges, says Michael Aldridge of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, are an attempt by the federal government to intimidate landlords and immigrants.
     "It fuels a phobia, it creates this feeling of discrimination in the community, and I am sure it heightens everyone's uneasiness across the board," said Aldridge, the group's executive director. "It's a horrible situation."

Kentucky paper sorry for civil rights coverage

July 06, 2004
The Lexington Herald-Leader featured a prominent clarification on its front page Sunday, apologizing for the newspaper's failures in covering the 1960s civil rights movement.
     The notice accompanied a series of stories titled "Front-page news, back-page coverage" and numerous black-and-white pictures taken by an independent photographer.
     The report comes as the nation observes the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Beneath the clarification are photographs of a Main Street march and a lunch counter sit-in taken by Calvert McCann, now 62.

Vote to create historic district is off; protest had been planned

April 23, 2004
Emotions over whether a low-income neighborhood should become Lexington's 17th local historic district reached such a fever pitch that opponents were planning a civil rights-style march to City Hall Monday.
     But the strong opposition won out yesterday, and Monday's vote by the Urban County Government was canceled.
     The Urban County Planning Commission withdrew the proposed historic overlay (H-1) zone change for the Martin Luther King area neighborhood, said Chris King, Urban County Director of Planning.

Planners OK new historic district; some claim racism

February 27, 2004
City planners moved yesterday to designate a deeply divided low-income neighborhood as Lexington's 17th local historic district, unanimously rejecting the arguments of some that such a classification is a camouflaged form of racism that will gentrify the area.
     To the contrary, the Urban County Planning Commission said historic overlay (H-1) zoning for the 83 acres represented by the North Martin Luther King Boulevard Neighborhood Association will help stabilize and rejuvenate one of the city's most troubled neighborhoods.
     "Having lived in the area, I don't buy the argument for one second that we're too poor and we're too black to have regulations that protect our property," said commissioner Linda Godfrey, who is black, just before making a motion to approve the historic overlay zone.

Lexington council disapproves of mayor's decision

June 04, 2003
After a feisty discussion that underscored a political power struggle and drew charges of homophobia, Lexington's city council voted to seize control of Mayor Teresa Isaac's new policy that offers health benefits to domestic partners of government workers.
     In a 11-4 vote, the council took the first step in placing a moratorium until October on domestic partner benefits, which would include coverage for same-sex and opposite-sex couples. But Isaac maintained confidence of her legal authority to change the health plan without council action.
     The mayor shrugged off criticism for making the changes without informing council. Yesterday's flare-up was expected, and "that's why it was important to do it administratively," she said, adding that the council is not aware of most policy changes controlled by her office.

Teresa Isaac disputes claim of housing discrimination

November 13, 2002
Teresa Isaac yesterday disputed the findings of a housing discrimination investigation that strongly rebuked the mayor-elect, an advocate of fair housing.
     Isaac maintained she did not tip off a trailer-park manager to a tenant's plans to file a discrimination complaint against the park, as asserted by a report filed last week by the Human Rights Commission. The report said the manager, Sami Shalash, cut off the tenant's utilities shortly after talking to Isaac.
     The commission found probable cause that Isaac interfered in Sarah Duer's right to fair housing. It also charged the operators of Ingleside Mobile Home Park, Mahmoud and Sami Shalash, with discriminating against Duer and her son because of their national origin.

Supreme Court to decide Ky. ADA case

November 06, 2001
Ella Williams worked on a Toyota assembly line until she said the repeated use of pneumatic tools damaged her arms and hands and made routine tasks nearly impossible. She was moved to a different department, but the new plant added a new chore that made the pain even worse.
     The situation prompted Williams to sue, claiming Toyota had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the lawsuit on Wednesday in a case that could have far-reaching effects on the nation's businesses.
      At issue is whether Williams actually has a disability, as opposed to a job-related injury that should be handled under workers' compensation, and what her case may portend for business.

Lexington fair housing director leading mayoral polls

August 01, 2001
Lexington Fair Housing Council Director Teresa Isaac has officially entered the race for Mayor ofLexington.
      Isaac served as Vice Mayor of Lexington for six years and aCouncilmember-at-Large for three years. During her 9 years in office, she concentrated on housing issues and civil rights issues. Isaac is the frontrunner in two independent polls, leading four male contenders.

White supremacist arrested in Kentucky

May 20, 1998
After a nine-month investigation, federal agents arrested the alleged head of a white supremacist group on charges that he threatened mixed-race couples. Charles Edward Hall Jr., 28, who formed the White Aryan Legion in August 1993, was charged with discrimination in housing and mailing threatening communications. He also was charged with destruction of government property for allegedly ordering someone to fire two gunshots into a post office in January. No one was injured.

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