Thursday, May 08, 2008
Scuzzbuckets of the Week
Reggie and Kimberly Colliers of Haughton, Louisiana
HUD has charged them with housing discrimination.
The are former owners of
"Camp Joy Marina" in Haughton which is in north Louisiana. In September 2004, Reggie Collier observed an African-American woman and a white couple viewing a property for sale in the development. Believing the African-American sales agent to be the potential homebuyer, Collier allegedly called the office of the real estate firm listing the property and stated that he did not want "those kinds of people" moving into the development. In addition, Collier allegedly threatened to disconnect water and sewer service to the home if the firm sold the home to African-Americans.
The HUD charge now goes before an administrative law judge who may award damages to each complainant for actual loss as a result of the alleged discrimination, as well as damages for emotional distress, humiliation, and loss of civil rights. The judge may also order injunctive and other equitable relief to deter further discrimination. Additionally, the judge may impose a maximum civil penalty of $16,000 for each violation for the first offense, in addition to actual damages for each complainant and order payment of attorneys' fees. Sanctions can be more severe if a respondent has a history of housing discrimination.