MILWAUKEE, Sept. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Geneva Terrace Apartments, Inc. issued a statement today denying all allegations of discrimination following an announcement of discrimination charges by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Geneva Terrace, through its attorney, Ronald S. Stadler of SmithAmundsen LLC in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, responded, "It is unfortunate that HUD publicly sought to simply announce that it intends to file a complaint, when in fact Geneva Terrace has denied all allegations of discrimination." Mr. Stadler pointed out that "anyone can file a complaint, but then they have to actually prove their case. We have demanded a jury trial in federal court because we believe when all of the facts are presented to a jury, it will conclude that Geneva Terrace did not discriminate against anyone and in fact has rented to African Americans and other minorities currently and in the past."
The complainants in question, a La Crosse couple with a history of being sued by creditors and evicted by a previous landlord for failing to pay rent, alleged they were discriminated against in 2009 when Geneva Terrace told them they had no units available. Mr. Stadler indicated that the facts will show that at the times the couple inquired about renting, there were no units available. Once the couple raised the discrimination claims, they also demanded $125,000 from Geneva Terrace to settle their alleged claims. When Geneva Terrace refused to pay, the couple and HUD moved forward. They filed complaints with the State of Wisconsin Equal Rights Division and HUD. The State administrative proceeding was dismissed when Geneva Terrace demanded a jury trial in La Crosse County Circuit Court. The complainants have taken no action on that matter.
HUD's charge merely indicates that the Agency suspects that discrimination occurred, but this is all based upon the complainants' self-serving allegations. No testimony has been taken and no documentary evidence has been admitted. Mr. Stadler pointed out that because Geneva Terrace immediately demanded a jury trial in federal court, HUD now actually has to decide whether it will file a civil complaint and then attempt to prove that discrimination actually occurred, not just that complainants suspect that it occurred. He also noted "Geneva Terrace has long been a valuable, trusted part of the La Crosse community, with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and a history of renting to all qualified applicants regardless of race. It intends to use the judicial process to demonstrate that it does not engage in discrimination."
For further information contact:
Ronald S. Stadler, Partner, SmithAmundsen LLC
4811 South 76th Street, Suite 306
Milwaukee, WI 53220
Direct Phone: 414.847.6148
About SmithAmundsen LLC: SmithAmundsen LLC is a rapidly expanding law firm comprised of 130 attorneys practicing from offices in Chicago, St. Charles, Rockford and Woodstock, Ill; Milwaukee, WI; and St. Louis, MO. The firm represents business entities and individuals engaged in most all commercial endeavors. Major practice concentrations include commercial litigation, labor and employment, banking and financial services, construction, insurance services, commercial transportation, health care and medical devices, products liability/manufacturing and corporate transaction and enterprise services. Click here to visit SmithAmundsen's media room.
SOURCE SmithAmundsen LLC