Translate   

 

Terry Goddard Settles Fair Housing Lawsuit for $150,000

(Phoenix, Ariz. – November 17, 2009)   Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that National City Neighborhood, LLC, Frank J. Konarski, Gabriela Konarski, Frank E. Konarski, Patricia Konarski, and John F. Konarski, the owners and managers of the FGPJ Apartments in Tucson, will pay $150,000 to settle a fair housing lawsuit.

The settlement resolves allegations that the apartments’ owners and managers denied James Larcom an accessible parking space, failed to make repairs to the electrical sockets in his apartment for proper operation of medical equipment, including oxygen tanks, and failed to provide him with a medical release from the lease.  The lawsuit also alleges that the complex threatened Larcom and his wife, Sabrina Ezell, and their children with immediate eviction because Ezell made a fair housing complaint to the Attorney General’s Office.

During the investigation of the family’s complaint, the State filed a request for a temporary restraining order, asking Pima County Superior Court to restrain the landlord from evicting the family until they could secure other suitable housing or the Division could complete its investigation.  The court granted the restraining order and the family found other permanent housing where Larcom could use his medical equipment. The Civil Rights Division investigated the complaint and found reasonable cause to believe the FGPJ Apartments discriminated and then retaliated against the residents in violation of the Arizona Fair Housing Act. The State filed its lawsuit in June 2007.

The settlement does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing. It requires the owners and management of the FGPJ Apartments to: 

  • Pay $100,000 to James Larcom and Sabrina Ezell and their attorney.
  • Pay $50,000 to the Arizona Civil Rights Division for enforcement of civil rights laws in Arizona.
  • Agree to request that the Pima County Justice Court vacate the eviction the FGPJ owners pursued against   Larcom and Ms. Ezell.
  • Dismiss numerous claims made against the State, its employees, and Larcom and Ezell.  
  • Provide written notice of fair housing laws to their existing and future tenants.
  • Agree to abide by the State’s fair housing laws.

The settlement — one of the largest the Division has entered into in a housing discrimination case — was entered as a consent decree that was approved by Pima County Superior Court Judge Paul Tang.  Assistant Attorneys General Rose Daly-Rooney and Cathleen Dooley represented the State in this case.  

The Arizona Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on a person’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status or disability. It is unlawful for a landlord to refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services if the accommodation may be necessary to afford the person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling. It is also unlawful to coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with any person in the enjoyment of or exercise of their housing rights.

If you believe that your civil rights have been violated, you can contact the Civil Rights Division to file a fair housing complaint at 602.542.5263 (Phoenix), 602.542.5002 (TTY), 877.491.5742 (toll free), and 877.624.8090 (toll free TTY). You may also visit one of the Attorney General’s satellite offices or file a complaint online. For more information about filing a complaint online or the hours or location of satellite offices, please visitwww.azag.gov.