From: "U.S. Department of Justice"
Date: September 25, 2012 2:45:30 PM EDT
Subject: U.S. DOJ Civil Rights Division News
The Justice Department announced today that it has filed a Fair Housing Act lawsuit against the owners and manager of approximately two dozen rental homes in Washington, N,C., alleging that the manager, William I. Cochran III, discriminated against African-American tenants.
The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, names Cochran and three related corporate entities – EKP LLC, WRC LLC and Emlan Properties LLC – that own or owned the various properties managed by Cochran. The complaint alleges that Cochran delayed or refused to perform maintenance or repairs at properties rented by African-Americans and refused to credit them for repairs they paid for or made themselves; verbally harassed African-American tenants with racial slurs and epithets, having made statements indicating that he disfavored African-American tenants; and threatened, harassed and retaliated against African-American tenants who resisted his discriminatory housing practices.
“No American should be subjected to substandard housing conditions because of his or her race,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue its vigorous enforcement of fair housing laws that protect the rights of individuals who seek basic maintenance and repairs to be free from discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.”