The United States of America alleges:
- This action is brought by the United States to enforce
provisions of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (the
Fair Housing Act), as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act
of 1988, 42 U.S.C. 3601, et seq.
- This court has jurisdiction over this action under
28 U.S.C. 1331, 28 U.S.C. 1345, and 42 U.S.C. 3614(a) and (b)(2).
- Defendant Lyle Krueger is a resident of the Eastern
District of Wisconsin, residing at 20030 82nd Street, Bristol,
Wisconsin, 53140. At all relevant times, defendant has been the
owner and manager of numerous residential rental properties in
Bristol and Kenosha, Wisconsin, also in the Eastern District of
- The rental properties at issue in this case are
dwellings within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. 3602(b).
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
- Defendant owns and, at all relevant times, managed a
rental property located in the Eastern District of Wisconsin at
1870 Sheridan Road, Lot #29, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
- Complainant Teresa Szopinski lived in the rental
property described in ¶5 between April 1994 and around February
- In November 1996, Ms. Szopinski filed a complaint with
the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) alleging that defendant violated the Fair Housing Act,
42 U.S.C. 3601, et seq., by harassing her and attempting to evict
her on the basis of sex and race and threatening to retaliate
against her for exercising her rights under the Fair Housing Act
- On August 20, 1997, after the administrative complaint
was filed but before a charge was issued, defendant and
Ms. Szopinski signed a Conciliation Agreement. HUD approved the
Conciliation Agreement on August 27, 1997, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
3610(b) (Attachment B).
- The Conciliation Agreement provides that defendant will
refrain from violating the Fair Housing Act, and will pay
Ms. Szopinski $200 by August 27, 1997, and will pay her $2,000 by
September 30, 1997.
- Subject to defendant's performance of his obligations
under the Conciliation Agreement, Ms. Szopinski agreed to waive,
release, and covenant not to sue defendant with respect to any
matters which were or might have been alleged as charges filed
with HUD. The Conciliation Agreement provides that the Secretary
of HUD will determine whether defendant has complied with the
terms of the Agreement.
- Defendant's performance under the Conciliation
Agreement was a condition precedent to Ms. Szopinski's duty to
perform her obligations under the Agreement.
- Defendant paid $200 to Ms. Szopinski on August 27,
- To date, defendant has failed to tender the $2,000 that
was due September 30, 1997.
- After numerous attempts to secure defendant's
performance of his obligations under the Conciliation Agreement,
the Secretary of HUD determined that defendant has failed to
perform those obligations and materially breached the Agreement.
On June 9, 1998, the Secretary referred the matter to the United
States Department of Justice for enforcement, pursuant to
42 U.S.C. 3610(c) and 3614(b)(2) (Attachment C).
- Defendant's breach of the Conciliation Agreement and
failure to perform a condition precedent was willful and in bad
SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
- For many years defendant has subjected female tenants
of the properties that he owns and manages to extensive,
continuous, and unwelcome sexual harassment by conditioning their
tenancy on the grant of sexual favors and creating a hostile
environment for female tenants through, among other actions,
sexual advances and propositions, invasions of privacy, and
- By the actions set forth in ¶16 above, defendant has
engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis
of sex against persons in the rental of dwellings in violation of
the Fair Housing Act.
- Defendant has implemented this pattern or practice of
discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act, among other
- Discriminating against persons in the terms,
conditions, or privileges of the rental of a dwelling because of
sex, in violation of 42 U.S.C. 3604(b);
- Coercing, intimidating, threatening, and/or
interfering with female tenants in the exercise or enjoyment of
rights granted and protected by Section 804 of the Fair Housing
Act, as amended, in violation of 42 U.S.C. 3617.
- The conduct of the defendant described in ¶16
- A pattern or practice of resistance to the full
enjoyment of rights secured by Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act
of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988,
42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.; and
- A denial to a group of persons of rights granted
by Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the
Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.,
which denial raises an issue of general public importance.
- There are numerous victims of defendant's
discriminatory actions and practices, including Sandra Johnson,
Teresa Szopinski and Debbie Maze, all former female tenants of
properties owned and managed by the defendant. These victims are
aggrieved persons as defined in 42 U.S.C. 3602(i). These victims
have suffered damages as a result of the defendant's conduct as
described in ¶16.
- The defendant's conduct was intentional, willful, and
taken in disregard for the rights of others.
WHEREFORE, the United States prays that the Court enter an
- For declaratory relief, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
- Declaring (1) that the defendant has failed to
perform a condition precedent under the Conciliation Agreement
and that Ms. Szopinski's obligations under the Conciliation
Agreement are discharged; and (2) that the defendant has breached
the Conciliation Agreement; and
- Declaring that the discriminatory practices of
defendant violate the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C.
3601 et seq.;
- For injunctive relief, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
3614(d)(1)(A), enjoining the defendant from:
- discriminating against any person in violation of
the Fair Housing Act, including (1) discriminating on account of
sex or race against any person in any aspect of the rental of a
dwelling, and (2) interfering with or threatening to take any
action against any person in the exercise or enjoyment of rights
granted or protected by the Fair Housing Act; and
- Failing or refusing to take such affirmative steps
as may be necessary (1) to restore, as nearly as practicable, the
victims of the defendant's past unlawful practices to the
position they would have been in but for the discriminatory
conduct; and (2) to notify residents of his rental properties as
well as the public that they will be operated in a manner so as
not to discriminate on the basis of sex;
- Awarding such monetary relief as would fully compensate
each identifiable victim of defendant's discriminatory housing
practices for injuries caused by the defendant's discriminatory
conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 3614(d)(1)(B);
- Awarding punitive damages to each identifiable victim
of defendant's discriminatory housing practices, pursuant to 42
U.S.C. 3614(d)(1)(B); and
- Assessing a civil penalty against the defendant to
vindicate the public interest, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
The United States further prays for such additional relief
as the interests of justice may require.
BILL LANN LEE
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
JOAN A. MAGAGNA
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
ROBERT S. BERMAN
MICHELLE M. ARONOWITZ
Attorneys, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, DC 20035-5998
TEL: (202) 305-1077
FAX: (202) 514-1116
THOMAS P. SCHNEIDER
United States Attorney
MEL S. JOHNSON
Assistant United States Attorney
517 East Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202
TEL: (414) 297-1700
FAX: (414) 297-1738