Disabled inmates win state protection

August 12, 1998
The state admitted Tuesday that disabled prisoners had been victims of discrimination and agreed to develop a program to fix the problem.
     The pledge stems from a class-action suit filed two years ago in federal court in San Francisco, accusing the Department of Corrections of failing to protect mentally retarded and developmentally disabled prisoners from harm by other inmates.
     It comes less than two months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prisoners are protected under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which bars discrimination against certain groups. 

INS will now accommodate man with 5 fingers

August 11, 1998
The Immigration and Naturalization Service will expedite the citizenship application of a disabled man that was delayed for 15 months because he could not give a full set of fingerprints, officials said yesterday.
      Tal Klement, 26, who was born with shortened arms, has three fingers on his right hand and two on his left. His citizenship application was delayed because of an administrative error, INS spokesman Greg Gagne said.
      "We're trying to accommodate his schedule and finish this by the end of the month," Gagne said.

Signs claiming "racist quotas" cause furor

August 09, 1998
Signs celebrating New York's "battles for justice" have created a furor of their own because one of them accuses the Housing Authority of using "racist quotas" in Brooklyn to favor Hasidic Jews.
     The sign in the Williamsburg section has sparked several complaints and has twice been yanked down by city officials.
     Its status is up in the air as city officials try to persuade the sponsor, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, to tone down the language. 

Jewish Yale students' housing claim dismissed

August 09, 1998
A judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Yale University brought by four Orthodox Jewish students who said the school violated their rights by forcing them to live in coed dorms.
     U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello ruled that the school policy did not impair the students' rights to practice their religion or violate federal housing or antitrust laws.
     "The plaintiffs could have opted to attend a different college or university if they were not satisfied with Yale's housing policy," Covello ruled. 

Condo board settles suit with disabled residents

August 08, 1998
The Villa Ridge condominium association board has agreed to a settlement with a group of disabled residents who filed a discrimination suit over the board's removing all the handicapped parking spaces at the Gaithersburg property.
     When the board made all the condo's parking spots first-come, first-served in December 1996, the disabled residents said in the their
complaint, it often meant long, painful walks from their cars to their homes.
     Under terms of the settlement reached last month, the board, which did not admit wrongdoing, agreed to provide "reasonable" parking accommodation or modification for any disabled residents; to institute an educational program to ensure that Villa Ridge employees know state and federal fair-housing laws; and to pay the plaintiffs $155,000 in damages and court costs. 

Cuomo says lending discrimination still a problem

August 06, 1998
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo said a new report issued today that shows lenders are continuing to turn down minorities more often than whites for home mortgages shows the need for a comprehensive study of mortgage lending discrimination that he ordered in March.
     "The American Dream of homeownership is not reserved for whites," Cuomo said. "We will not tolerate a continued homeownership gap as wide as the Grand Canyon that divides Americans into two societies, separate and unequal. Eliminating housing and lending discrimination is vital to making the opportunity for homeownership a reality for all Americans."
     HUD's study of mortgage lending discrimination, which is being conducted by the Urban Institute in Washington and will be completed by the end of the year, will help HUD intensify its crackdown on mortgage lending discrimination and increase the minority homeownership rate, Cuomo said. The crackdown begun by Cuomo has obtained record commitments from lenders so far this year to make nearly $4 billion in mortgage loans to settle lending discrimination allegations.

Florida condo family files complaint with HUD

August 02, 1998
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is investigating a family's complaint that their son, who uses a wheelchair, has been mistreated by security guards at the condominium complex where they have lived for the past two years. The condominiom's elected board of directors also rejected the family's request to buy a condo unit.

U.S. West settles bias claim by black businessmen

August 02, 1998
U S West has negotiated financial settlements with six of seven black businessmen who filed a lawsuit claiming the communications giant discriminated against them. Terms weren't released.
     The June 1996 lawsuit filed in Denver federal court accused the Englewood-based Baby Bell of a ``pattern and practice'' of denying vendor contracts to black-owned businesses.
     ``We have asserted all along that our company is open to bringing in diverse vendors,'' U S West spokesman David Beiie said Friday. ``The whole issue here was about trying to bring more African-American firms into the company, and we are working with a number of firms to do just that.''  

Family files suit over racially motivated HIV test

July 31, 1998
It began on a summer day with two boys from a dayschool program playing at a public pool in suburban Wheaton. The two -- one white, one black -- shared a snorkel.
      Two years later, the black boy and his mother are suing the program, saying its organizers pressured them into having the child tested for HIV and strep throat after the white boy's mother learned of the shared snorkel.
      The federal lawsuit, filed Wednesday, accuses Wheaton-based Outreach Community Ministries of racial discrimination, and says the group's officials broke state law by releasing the HIV test results to the other mother.

Ousted Nebraska judge claims anti-white bias

July 29, 1998
An ousted judge who admitted signing papers ``Adolf Hitler'' and tossing firecrackers in a colleague's office says the real reason he was removed from office was that he's fat, diabetic, white and a Christian.
     Former Douglas County Judge Richard ``Deacon'' Jones filed a discrimination complaint Tuesday with the state Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If it is not resolved by the commission within six months, Jones' attorney said, a discrimination lawsuit will be filed. 


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