FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2002
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SUES KANSAS CITY LANDLORDS FOR
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department today sued Bobby and Jewel Veal, the co-owners and managers of numerous single family rental homes in Kansas City, Missouri, alleging a pattern or practice of sexual harassment of female tenants.
“Sexual harassment in housing is a deplorable and egregious violation of the Fair Housing Act,” said Ralph F. Boyd, Jr., Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “A woman should not have to fear harassment by the landlord who holds a key to her home. The Justice Department will vigorously prosecute landlords who engage in this type of discrimination.”
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, alleges that Bobby Veal, who owns and manages rental properties in Kansas City, has subjected female tenants to severe and pervasive sexual harassment, including making unwelcome sexual advances and touching female tenants without their consent. The complaint further alleges that Veal has entered the apartment of female tenants without permission or notice and threatened to or taken steps to evict female tenants when they refused or objected to his sexual advances. The suit also names as a defendant Jewel Veal, Bobby Veal's wife, who co-owns and manages the properties.
Today’s suit seeks monetary damages to compensate the victims for injury caused by the harassment, civil penalties, punitive damages, and a court order barring future discrimination. The United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri, in Kansas City, will work with the Justice Department Civil Rights Division in litigating the suit.
The Kansas City, Missouri Human Rights Department brought this matter to the attention of the United States after it received complaints from tenants at Mr. Veal's properties. Any individuals who believe that they were sexually harassed by Bobby Veal at properties owned and/or managed by Bobby Veal, or anyone else who has information concerning this case, should contact the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department at (800) 896-7743 or (202) 514-4713. Individuals who believe they have been victims of housing discrimination elsewhere should contact the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development at (800) 669-9777. Additional information is available on the HUD website at www.hud.gov <http://www.hud.gov>.