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Housing Discrimination Lawsuit Settled for $55,000

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Nov. 27, 2007) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced the settlement of a housing discrimination lawsuit filed last year against Stanislawa Barbara Ogorzaly, Remodelers Ltd., real estate agent June Lamb, Gayle Norman Lamb and real estate broker Keller Williams, Professional Partners.

The settlement, in the form of a consent decree, resolves allegations that in June 2006, Ogorzaly refused to rent a Peoria townhouse to an African American couple, Dr. Velvie

C. Green and her husband Herman Green Jr. Under the consent decree, the Greens will receive $55,000. Keller Williams and the Lambs will pay $30,000, and Ogorzaly and Remodelers Ltd. will pay $25,000.

According to the lawsuit filed in December 2006, Ogorzaly retained June Lamb to rent the Peoria townhouse located at 18650 N. 91st Ave. #601. Lamb listed the townhouse on the Multiple Listing Service. In June 2006, the Greens looked at Ogorzaly’s rental townhouse with their real estate agent. The Greens submitted a written offer to Lamb, offering to rent the townhouse for the asking amount as well as a $500 deposit.

According to the lawsuit, when Lamb presented the Greens’ rental offer, Ogorzaly asked Lamb if the couple was Black, made derogatory comments about Black people, and stated that she did not want to rent the townhouse to Black people. Ogorzaly declined the Greens’ full-price offer, and through Lamb, sent a counteroffer that increased the monthly rental amount.

According to court documents, when Lamb presented the Greens’ real estate agent with the counteroffer, she asked him whether his clients were Black. She told the agent she was asking because Ogorzaly did not want to rent to “Black people.” The Greens accepted the counteroffer and provided additional information requested by Lamb for the purported purpose of checking their credit. Despite this, Ogorzaly declined to rent the townhouse to the couple.

The settlement, approved by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Edward Burke, does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing by the defendants. In addition to the monetary award, the settlement requires:

  • June Lamb and Ogorzaly must attend fair housing training.
  • Keller Williams must adopt and distribute a non-discrimination policy to its brokers and real estate agents, including independent contractors, within 60 days.
  • Keller Williams must train its agents on the new policy and procedures.
  • Keller Williams must work with the Attorney General’s Office to organize and participate in a town hall program regarding housing discrimination issues.

Assistant Attorney General Sandra Kane handled this case.

The Arizona Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in public accommodations based on a person’s disability, race, color, religion, sex, familial status or national origin. If you believe you are a victim of discrimination, please contact the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division, in Phoenix at 602-542-5263; in Tucson at 520-628-6500; or outside Maricopa and Pima Counties at 1-877-491-5742. To file a complaint in person, the Attorney General's Office has 36 satellite offices throughout Arizona with volunteers available to help. Locations and hours of operation are posted on the Attorney General's Web site at www.azag.gov.