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					                      Ohio Civil Rights Commission Summaries


Dawkins, et al. v. Emminger, No. 9745 (Johnson 9/25/06)

Unlawful housing discrimination proven.

Complainants are African-American.       When they moved into their apartment,
Respondent (Caucasian) occupied the upstairs unit. Complainants repeatedly complained
about Respondent’s loud music and partying. In response, Respondent made racial slurs,
hurled an object through Complainants’ living room window and smashed the back
window of their car. Held: Judgment for Complainants. Respondent intimidated,
threatened and interfered with Complainants enjoyment of their home because of their
race. Complainants were awarded actual damages in the sum of $45,150 and punitive
damages in the sum of $7,500.

Dawkins, et al. v. Emminger, No. 9745 (Johnson 4/3/07)

Unlawful housing discrimination attorney’s fees granted to OCRC attorney.

Counsel for the Ohio Civil Rights Commission was awarded attorney’s fees for
successfully litigating a housing discrimination claim. The 19 hours expended by the
OCRC attorney(s) on the case as well as the requested attorney rate of $175 per hour
were both shown to be reasonable based on the actual work described, the outcome of the
case and what an attorney practicing in the civil rights arena in the Akron area would
charge. In addition, 1.75 hours of travel time was awarded at a rate of $35 per hour.

Jones v. Blumer, et al., No. 9841 (Johnson 9/25/06)

Unlawful housing discrimination proven.

Complainant (African-American) rented and subsequently purchased a home next door to
Respondents (Caucasian). Respondents repeatedly (1) made racially derogatory slurs to
Complainant; (2) threw garbage, cigarette butts and dead animals into his yard; (3) threw
rocks and eggs at his car, house and garage; (4) wrote racial epithets in the snow in his
yard; (5) threw a burned African-American Barbie doll in his yard; (6) damaged his
fence; (7) fired bottle rockets at his house; and (8) shrewd nails on the ground behind his
car. After Complainant threw a firecracker into his own backyard, Respondent pounded
on his door, spit on his window, screamed racial epithets and threatened to kill him.
Respondents also hurled yellow paint all over the front of Complainant’s house and threw
human feces onto his front porch. After Respondents moved, no other vandalism
incidents occurred to Complainant’s real or personal property. Held: Judgment for
Complainant. Respondents engaged in a campaign of intimidating and threatening
behavior toward Complainant and otherwise interfered with the enjoyment of his home
because of his race. Complainant was awarded actual damages in the sum of $41,050
and punitive damages in the sum of $10,000.
Jones v. Blumer, et al., No. 9841 (Johnson 4/3/07)

Unlawful housing discrimination attorney’s fees granted to OCRC attorney.

Counsel for the Ohio Civil Rights Commission was awarded attorney’s fees for
successfully litigating a housing discrimination claim. The 9.75 hours expended by the
OCRC attorney(s) on the case as well as the requested attorney rate of $175 per hour
were both shown to be reasonable based on the actual work described, the outcome of the
case and what an attorney practicing in the civil rights arena in the Akron area would
charge. In addition, 1.75 hours of travel time was awarded at a rate of $35 per hour.

Adkinson, et al. v. DeVoe, et al., Nos. 9413, 9414 and 9670 (Johnson 12/18/06)

Unlawful housing discrimination proven.

Complainant LaVelle purchased a home from Respondents as an investment property.
The property was bordered by Respondents’ property and shared a driveway.
Complainant LaVelle first rented the home to Kathy Clevenger (Caucasian).
Ms. Clevenger lived in the home while it was being renovated – for approximately a year
and a half. During this time, Ms. Clevenger regularly walked across the property line to
access the mailbox and newspaper receptacle and parked in the shared driveway. After
the Adkinson’s (African-American) moved into the home, Respondents installed a chain
link fence, thus obstructing free access from the Adkinsons’ front door to the access road.
In addition, several “NO TRESPASSING” signs were posted and Mr. DeVoe frequently
drove his riding lawn mower along the property line when the Adkinsons had guests or
when their children played outside. Held: Judgment for Complainants. Respondents
made statements to a neighbor and Ms. Clevenger that they did not want African-
Americans living in the home. In addition, Respondents conduct towards the Complaint
was in stark contrast to the privileges and accommodations afforded to Ms. Clevenger.
Furthermore, Respondents filed a lawsuit against LaVelle in retaliation for his filing a
charge of discrimination. Complainant LaVelle was awarded actual damages in the sum
of $7,500 and punitive damages in the sum of $4,000. Complainants Donald and Jeanette
Adkinson were awarded actual damages in the sum of $12,500 and punitive damages in
the sum of $6,000.

Adkinson, et al. v. DeVoe, et al., Nos. 9413, 9414 and 9670 (Johnson 4/23/07)

Unlawful housing discrimination attorney’s fees granted to OCRC attorney.

Counsel for the Ohio Civil Rights Commission was awarded attorney’s fees for
successfully litigating a housing discrimination claim. The 85.8 hours expended by the
OCRC attorney(s) on the case as well as the requested attorney rate of $250 per hour
were both shown to be reasonable based on the actual work described, the outcome of the
case and what an attorney practicing in the civil rights arena in the Mansfield area would
charge. In addition, 18 hours of travel time was awarded at a rate of $25 per hour.
Street-Underwood v. State of Ohio, No. 9260 (Johnson 12/19/06)

Unlawful race discrimination not proven.

Two months after Bureau Chief Barbara Bradley (Caucasian) began her employment
with the State of Ohio, she noticed problems with Complainant’s (African-American)
performance. Complainant experienced problems with tardiness and was performing
duties which were outside of her job description. Consequently, Bradley took away
many of the job duties Complainant had been performing for years. Lastly, Bradley, on
two occasions stated, “You people are always lying to me.” Held: Judgment for
employer. Bradley’s, “You people are always lying to me,” comment failed to meet the
severe and pervasive standard that would have unreasonably interfered with
Complainant’s work performance.

Williams, et al. v. Healthcare Business Solutions, et al.,
Nos. 9618 and 9619 (Johnson 3/12/07)

Unlawful race discrimination not proven.

Complainants were discharged from their Accounts Receivable Clerk positions with
Respondent after errors were discovered in their work. The discharges were in
accordance with Respondent’s progressive discipline policy. Held: Judgment for
employer. Accuracy of work was listed as the first and most important work criteria of
Complainants’ positions. Both Complainants admitted to the errors that placed them on
Respondents’ progressive discipline track. Accordingly, their respective discipline and
subsequent terminations were appropriate.

OCRC v. E-Publius, Inc., et al., No. 9741 (Johnson 3/12/07)

Unlawful race and sex discrimination proven.

Respondent Frank Bemer placed an advertisement seeking employment on E-Publius’
website that specified his race, color and sex, and expressed a preference as to the race,
color and sex of a prospective employer. The OCRC self-initiated a charge of
discrimination. Held: Judgment for the Commission. E-Publius was ordered to post a
statement on its website indicating that Ohio law prohibits persons seeking employment
to publish advertisements specifying race, sex, national origin, or age. In addition,
Respondent Linder was to receive training regarding a person’s rights and responsibilities
under Ohio law with respect to posting and publishing advertisements for employment.
Pall v. Wayne-Dalton Corporation, No. 9718 (Johnson 12/29/06)

Unlawful sex discrimination not proven.

Complainant alleged she was discriminated against on the basis of her sex when she was
discharged by Respondent after engaging in a verbal altercation with a co-worker. Held:
Judgment for employer. Respondent has a Zero Tolerance Workplace Violence Policy.
Both Complainant and the male co-worker who engaged in the verbal altercation were
terminated for violating the policy. Accordingly, Complainant was not subjected to
discriminatory treatment.

Nutt, et al. v. Forsythe, No. 9892 (Johnson 10/11/06)

Unlawful housing discrimination proven.

Complainants (African-American) were interested in renting a home from Respondent.
Respondent resided in the house directly across the street. When Respondent showed the
property to Complainants, he assured them that he would complete a number of needed
repairs. After Complainants moved into the home and Respondent failed to complete the
repairs, Complainants called the City Code Enforcement Office (“CCEO”). The CCEO
cited Respondent for 8 code violations.          In response, Respondent turned off
Complainants’ water supply and repeatedly made racially derogatory comments towards
them. Held: Judgment for Complainants. Respondent discriminated in the furnishing of
services to Complainants. In addition, Respondent intimidated, threatened and otherwise
interfered with Complainants’ enjoyment of their home because of their race.
Complainants were awarded actual damages in the sum of $40,000 and punitive damages
in the sum of $10,000. Furthermore, Respondent was ordered to attend a training course
regarding Ohio’s Fair Housing Law.

Nutt, et al. v. Forsythe, No. 9892 (Johnson 4/3/07)

Unlawful housing discrimination attorney’s fees granted to OCRC attorney.

Counsel for the Ohio Civil Rights Commission was awarded attorney’s fees for
successfully litigating a housing discrimination claim. The 9.5 hours expended by the
OCRC attorney(s) on the case as well as the requested attorney rate of $250 per hour
were both shown to be reasonable based on the actual work described, the outcome of the
case and what an attorney practicing in the civil rights arena in the Columbus area would
charge.
Boyd v. Toledo Public Schools, No. 9523 (Johnson 4/23/07)

Unlawful retaliation discrimination not proven.

Complainant alleged that her volleyball coaching contract was not renewed by
Respondents in retaliation for her filing a sex discrimination charge. Held: Judgment for
employer.      Respondent articulated a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for
Complainant’s volleyball coaching contract not being renewed. Specifically, she
engaged in verbal altercations with parents; failed to respect and get along with fellow
teachers/staff; and refused to attend a basketball game, and thus also prevented the
Varsity, Junior Varsity and Freshman girls basketball teams from attending.

				
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