Lawsuit alleges Orland Park landlord discriminated

November 24, 2009 8:26:39 AM PST
A federal lawsuit is alleging that a Chicago landlord discriminated against African-American tenant prospects.The government is seeking a court order prohibiting future discrimination by the defendant, unspecified monetary damages for those harmed by the defendant's conduct, and a civil penalty from Terence Flanagan, a Chicago area property owner and rental agent.

The lawsuit alleges that in July, Flanagan refused to rent a single-family house he owns at 14412 South Highland, in south suburban Orland Park, to Kamal Alex Majeid, who is African-American, because of his race. Federal authorities say Flanagan asked a white tester employed by the Justice Department whether her husband was African-American and admitted to her that he did not want to rent to African Americans.

Since 1991, the Justice Department said it has operated a Fair Housing Testing Program in which it uses federal employees or contractors as testers to identify alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act.

Federal authorities say the lawsuit resulted from a complaint by the South Suburban Housing Center, a private suburban Chicago fair housing organization, after it was contacted by Majeid, who filed a private federal lawsuit against Flanagan in August.


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