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Terry Goddard Settles Housing Discrimination Suit against Sedona Couple

(Phoenix, Ariz. – April 18, 2006) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced a settlement with Feliks and Bozena Mlynarczyk (pronounced MINARCHECK) resolving a 2004 lawsuit alleging that the couple refused to sell property to a California couple because of race.

In April 2004, Dr. Phillip and Kristina Edington of Stockton, Calif., presented a full price offer for a residential lot located in Sedona through their real estate agent, Edward Pennington. The lot is owned by the Mlynarczyks and is adjacent to their Sedona home. Court documents state that Mr. Mlynarczyk rejected the offer and told Pennington he would not sell to “Black people.”

Pennington reported the comments to the Attorney General’s Office, and the Edingtons also filed a complaint. The Civil Rights Division investigated and then obtained a preliminary injunction in November 2004 to stop the Mlynarczyks from selling, transferring or borrowing against the vacant land until the lawsuit was resolved.

Under the terms of the settlement, the Mlynarczyks will pay $120,000 to the Edingtons for damages, $25,000 to Buyer Brokers Realty of Sedona for lost commission and expenses, and $40,000 to the State for attorneys’ fees, costs and enforcement of civil rights laws. The Mlynarczyks will be allowed to sell the vacant land and use the proceeds to pay the settlement.

Pennington will be honored by Goddard and the Arizona Fair Housing Partnership for taking a stand against housing discrimination on April 20 at 9:45 a.m. in Tempe. The presentation is part of the Partnership’s 2006 Fair Housing Workshop. The workshop will be held at the Tempe Public Library from 9 a.m. to noon.

The Attorney General’s Office enforces the Arizona Fair Housing Act, which prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and familial status. If you believe you are a victim of housing discrimination, contact the Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General’s Office to file a fair housing complaint at 602-542-5263 in Phoenix or 520-628-6500 in Tucson. You may also visit one of the Attorney General’s Satellite Offices. For locations and hours of operation, please visit the Attorney General’s Web site at www.azag.gov.