Welcome!

News Feed Item

Judicial Watch Sues for HUD Records of Obama Administration Involvement in Controversial St. Paul, MN, Housing Discrimination Case

WASHINGTON, DC -- (Marketwire) -- 11/13/12 -- Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a lawsuit (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (No. 1:12-cv-01785)) on November 2, 2012, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to force compliance with an April 4, 2012, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents relating to possible collusion between the Obama administration and the city of St. Paul, MN, in withdrawing a "disparate impact" appeal pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. HUD has refused all JW FOIA requests for public records, even after JW paid in advance for the information.

The disparate impact case arose from a lawsuit by a St. Paul minority contractor claiming that the city's targeted enforcement of the city's housing code against rental units reduced the availability of low-income rentals, with a disparate impact upon African-Americans. The Eighth Circuit found in the contractor's favor, after which the city appealed to the Supreme Court. Generally speaking, under a disparate impact analysis, an entity can be found to have engaged in discriminatory activity for practices that merely have a "disparate impact" on protected minorities, irrespective of any intentional bias.

The Obama DOJ then intervened, apparently persuading St. Paul to take the extraordinary step of withdrawing its cert petition from the Supreme Court docket. On February 13, the Wall Street Journal reported that various federal officials had asked the City of St. Paul to withdraw its petition for certiorari in a controversy that had already been slated for argument before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Obama administration's concern, explained the article, was that a legal theory known as "disparate impact" might either: 1) harden into law as used by the landlords who had won at the state level or 2) be eviscerated entirely. Apparently, several federal agencies that rely on that legal theory to secure out-of-court settlements in the consumer lending and family housing arena were reluctant to risk a change in the legal landscape. The next day, the parties to Magner v. Gallagher withdrew their case by mutual consent.

Judicial Watch separately obtained documents under the Minnesota Data Practices Act, showing that St. Paul City Attorney Sara Grewing arranged a meeting between the chief of DOJ's Civil Rights Division, Tom Perez, and Mayor Chris Coleman a week before the city's withdrawal from the case, captioned Magner v. Gallagher. Following Perez's visit, the city withdrew its case and thanked DOJ and officials at HUD for their involvement.

On April 4, Judicial Watch sent a FOIA request to the DOJ and HUD seeking access to the following:

1. All communications with or about St. Paul, Minnesota, its residents, landlords, low-income properties or employees, specifically those exchanges:

a. relating to the city's recent petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, including the petition's withdrawal in February 2012;
b. regarding "disparate impact" theory or analysis in the housing, landlord-tenant, or mortgage arena;
c. involving any member of the U.S. Senate's Democratic Policy & Communications Committee, the House Democratic Caucus, or the White House, and their respective staffs; and,
d. involving third parties such as the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Thomas Goldstein, or Walter Mondale and their respective staffs;

2. All invoices for travel, food, lodging, communications, or entertainment expenses incurred in connection with any "disparate impact" lawsuit against St. Paul, Minnesota.

In filing its FOIA request, JW requested a waiver of both search and duplication fees, citing its role as a member of the news media. On June 11, 2012, HUD denied JW's waiver request, informing JW that it would be required to pay a $1,024.43 fee before HUD would release any records.

On June 21, 2012, JW appealed HUD's denial of a waiver request. On July 23, HUD denied JW's appeal, and on July 31, JW paid the waiver fee in full.

Despite payment in full, and despite repeated inquiries from JW about the status of its FOIA request, HUD has continued to refuse to release of the documents requested by JW.

"We have reason to believe that the Obama administration improperly and successfully pressured St. Paul city officials to take the extremely rare action of withdrawing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "The Obama administration and its liberal activist allies are desperate to protect their ability to use the discredited 'disparate impact' legal standard in lawsuits in order to shakedown businesses and reward allies."

Visit www.judicialwatch.org

Add to Digg Bookmark with del.icio.us Add to Newsvine

Contact:
Jill Farrell
202-646-5188

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
SYS-CON Events announced today the Kubernetes and Google Container Engine Workshop, being held November 3, 2016, in conjunction with @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele introduces participants to Kubernetes and Google Container Engine (GKE). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, students learn the key concepts and practices for deploying and maintainin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
I’m going to cry tonight, long and hard. I’ll do so as I remember and mourn Jeremy Geelan. I knew Jeremy for almost 20 years, from the time he showed up one day at Cloud Expo’s headquarters in Bergen County, New Jersey, and went to work. The show wasn’t called Cloud Expo then, of course – it was still known as Java Edge, a pioneering event that grabbed developers, architects, and enterprise IT users alike for twice-yearly confabs. Jeremy didn’t have a job there, or even a job offer. He was s...