Federal housing discrimination lawsuit filed against developer in Palm Beach County, Fla.

(Palm Beach County, Fla., June 18, 2001) -- Fair Housing Cooperating Attorneys for the Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches, (FHC), have filed a Federal lawsuit against Florida Fercon Inc., David Spilberg, Accent Marketing Associates, Inc. and Salvador Ramos. The lawsuit charges that the defendants discriminate against Blacks. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Carmen Bowman, Karon Bowman and Gina Bowman who had lived together for over twenty

years and accumulated, by pooling their financial resources, a savings in excess of $100,000.00 for the purchase of a new home. After reviewing a local newspaper, the Bowmans discovered an advertisement for new home sales and construction at the Hidden Hollow development in the City of Palm Beach Gardens.

The lawsuit alleges that David Spilberg refused to sign and enter into the Proposed Agreement for Purchase and Sale with the Bowmans. Upon review of the proposed contract, due to be fully executed, Spilberg inquired of his agent, Salvador Ramos as to the color and race of the Bowmans. Ramos informed Spilberg that the Bowmans were Black. Spilberg responded to Ramos and another agent involved in the transaction by stating the following: he already had one nigger (or one token nigger) in the development and he would not sell to another one; and that he was advised by his attorney that he had already met his quota of Blacks and did not have to sell to another one and that too many Blacks would be bad for the development. The Bowmans filed a fair housing complaint with the Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches and asked that the FHC assist them in filing a Federal lawsuit.

The truth was not revealed until the other agent involved in the transaction, who was told by Spilberg along with Ramos, that the fact that the Bowman’s were Black was the true reason they were being denied, resigned from Florida Fercon Inc. and Accent Marketing Associates, Inc. The agent then contacted the Bowmans’ realtor and informed her as to what had actually transpired. The realtor has filed a separate lawsuit on her own behalf. The Civil Rights law of 1866, Federal Fair Housing Act, Florida Human Rights Act and Palm Beach County Fair Housing Ordinances make it illegal to refuse to sale on the basis of race.

The plaintiffs are represented by FHC Cooperating Attorneys Micheal Patrick Maher and Anthony P. Ryan, Attorneys at law. The Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches is a HUD Fair Housing Initiative Program organization.

For Further Information Contact: Vince Larkins

(561) 533-8717