TIMOTHY J. MORAN
ERIC I. HALPERIN
RIGEL C. OLIVERI
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Northwestern Building, 7th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20530
Telephone: (202) 305-3109
Facsimile: (202) 514-1116
Attorneys for Plaintiff
United States of America
Plaintiff, CONSENT DECREE
WILLIAM DAVID WINGO and
KAREN WINGO CIPRIANO,
individually and doing
business as WINGO PROPERTIES,
and VINCENT STANCYK
This action was filed by the United States on April 10, 2001, to enforce the provisions of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (the Fair Housing Act), as amended by the Fair Housing Act Amendments of 1988, 42 U.S.C. §§3601 et seq. In its complaint, the United States alleges that Defendants engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of race, color and sex, in the rental of apartments at Rio Palmas Apartments, located at 5995 Palm Ave., in Riverside, California, and Las Casitas Apartments, located at 6090 Correll St., in Riverside, California. On November 28, 2001, the United States amended its complaint to include allegations of discrimination based on national origin.
William Wingo and Karen Wingo Cipriano doing business as Wingo Properties (hereinafter " the Wingos") were at all times relevant to this action the owner of the Las Casitas Apartments. The Wingos were also the owner of Rio Palmas Apartments, but sold the property in May 1999. At all times relevant to this action, Defendant Vincent Stancyk served as the manager, and the Wingos' agent, at the Rio Palmas and Las Casitas Apartments.
The United States alleges that Defendant Vincent Stanyck subjected female tenants to extensive, continuous, unwelcome, and uninvited sexual harassment; conditioned aspects of tenancy on compliance with sexual favors; and created a hostile environment for complainants and other female tenants, in violation of Sections 804(a), 804(b), and 804(c),of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604(a)-(c). The United States further alleges that Defendant Wingos knew or should have known of the discrimination against female tenants by Defendant Stancyk, but failed to take action to curtail and/or prevent the discriminatory conduct of Vincent Stanyck, in violation of Sections 804(a), 804(b), and 804(c) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604(a)-(c).
The United States further alleges that Defendants engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin, including: misrepresenting the availability of apartments to African Americans and Hispanics; steering minority applicants to Rio Palmas Apartments and away from Las Casitas; discouraging white applicants from living at Rio Palmas while encouraging them to live at Las Casitas; harassment (including eviction) of minority residents because of their race or national origin; and routinely making statements that it was the Defendants' policy to discriminate on the basis of race, color, and national origin.
Thus far the United States has identified 12 individuals who it alleges are victims of the Defendants' discriminatory practices.
All Defendants deny the United States' allegations that they engaged in any unlawful conduct. Specifically, the defendant Wingos deny engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of race, color, and/or national origin. The Wingos contend that they have never misrepresented the availability of apartments to African Americans or Hispanics, that they have never steered minority applicants to Rio Palmas and away from Las Casitas, and that they have never discouraged white applicants from living at Rio Palmas. The Wingos further deny evicting tenants for any reason other than legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons, and they maintain that they have never promoted a policy of discrimination at their rental properties. The Wingos assert that they stand behind the Fair Housing Act and other antidiscrimination laws, and that they are committed to providing equal housing opportunities to all applicants, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, or handicap. Finally, the Wingos deny any knowledge of sexual harassment that allegedly occurred at Rio Palmas and Las Casitas.
The parties have agreed that in order to avoid protracted and costly litigation, this controversy should be resolved without a trial or adjudication of any of the facts alleged by the United States. Therefore, the parties consent to the entry of this Decree. This agreement constitutes full resolution of the United States' claim that the Defendants engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex and national origin at properties owned by William Wingo, Karen Wingo Cipriano, and the Wingos in violation of 42 U.S.C. §3614.I. INJUNCTION
- Defendants Wingos and Stancyk
- Refusing to rent a dwelling unit, refusing or failing to provide or offer information about a dwelling unit, or otherwise making unavailable or denying a dwelling unit to any person because of race, color, sex, or national origin;M
- Discriminating against any person in the terms, conditions or privileges of renting a dwelling unit, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race, color, sex, or national origin;
- Making, printing, publishing, or causing to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement or advertisement with respect to the rental of a dwelling unit that states any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, sex, or national origin;
- Misrepresenting to any person because of race, color, sex, or national origin that any dwelling unit is not available for inspection or rental when such dwelling unit is, in fact, so available; and
- Engaging in any other discriminatory housing practice prohibited by 42 U.S.C. 3601, et seq.
- Defendant Wingos
- Implement a written policy against sexual and racial harassment immediately upon the entry of this Decree; notify all tenants of Defendants' written policy against sexual harassment, including formal complaint procedures; and notify all tenants that all dwellings owned, managed or leased by the Defendant are available on an equal opportunity basis without regard to race, color, sex and national origin. The written policy and complaint procedure shall be provided to the United States within fifteen (15) days of the date on which the Court enters this Consent Order. Defendants shall disseminate such policies and procedures to all tenants at Las Casitas Apartments and any other property owned or managed by the Wingos within thirty (30) days of the date on which the Court enters this Consent Order and provide a copy of the policy to all new tenants.
- The United States shall provide Defendants with the names of those aggrieved persons who it believes have had reports of non-payment to the Defendants erroneously included in their credit histories or who were evicted in error. The United States shall also provide a statement, signed under oath, from each such aggrieved person setting forth the facts supporting the claim that any reports of non-payment were made in error. The Defendants shall have fifteen (15) days to provide any evidence contradicting the statement. The United States shall consider all the evidence submitted and make a final determination on the validity of the claim for relief under this subsection and shall promptly notify the Wingos of its decision. If the United States determines that a report was made in error, within thirty (30) of receiving the notice the Defendants will provide a letter to three credit reporting agencies (Experian Information Solutions, Inc., Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc., and Trans Union, LLC) verifying that: reports that the person identified had failed to pay monies to the Defendants were made in error and that no money is currently, or ever had been, owed to the Defendants by the aggrieved person. The Defendants shall take all other necessary steps to cooperate with any internal procedures or requirements of the aforementioned credit reporting agencies in order to correct the erroneous items on the aggrieved person's credit report. In addition, the Defendants will provide a letter to the United States to be forwarded to the aggrieved person verifying that no money is currently, or ever had been, owed to the Defendants, and/or that the aggrieved person's eviction was erroneous.
- Post an " Equal Housing Opportunity " sign in all rental offices and at least one common area of Las Casitas Apartments and any other property owned or managed by the Wingos, which indicates that all apartments are available for rent on a nondiscriminatory basis. An 11 x 14 poster substantially equivalent to the reduced sample appended to this Decree as Exhibit A will satisfy this requirement. In the event that a poster is damaged or removed, the Defendants may place an 8&312 x 11 copy of this poster in its place temporarily until an 11 x 14 replacement can be found. All posters shall be placed in a prominent, well-lit, and easily readable location in all rental offices and at least one common area of each property.
- All advertising conducted by Defendants for Las Casitas, or any other property owned or managed by the Wingos, in newspapers, telephone directories, radio, television or other media, and on all billboards, signs (including at the entrance to the property), pamphlets, brochures and other promotional literature shall include either a fair housing logo, the words " equal housing opportunity provider," and/or the following sentence:
- Implement a fair housing training and education program for any and all individuals who have an ownership interest in, or have responsibility for managing or performing managerial duties or responsibilities at Las Casitas Apartments and any other property owned or managed, in whole or in part, by the Wingos, whether individually or as part of a management company or other entity, at any time during the term of this Decree. As part of this program, within sixty (60) days of the date of entry of this Decree, all such persons including, but not limited to: Defendants William Wingo and Karen Wingo Cipriano; any and all individuals currently serving as on-site managers or tenant managers; any individual with regular responsibility for receiving repair or maintenance requests directly from tenants, or with duties and responsibilities of collecting rent from, showing apartments to, investigating the qualifications of, and/or determining whether or not to rent to potential tenants; and each individual who supervises the work of any such individual or entity, at any property owned by Defendant Wingos, shall attend fair housing training conducted by the Fair Housing Council of Riverside County or another qualified civil rights organization to be selected by Defendants subject to approval by the United States. Any person who is subject to this training requirement who is hired after the entry of this decree shall attend such training within thirty (30) days of the date on which he or she assumes such responsibilities. Any and all costs and fees associated with the training program shall be borne by the Wingos.
- Elements of the fair housing training program shall include, but not be limited to;
- Providing training on the non-discrimination requirements of the federal Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.;
- Providing each participant with a copy of this Consent Decree and information concerning the individual's duties and obligations under the Fair Housing Act and this Decree; and
- Furnishing to each participant a letter summarizing Defendants' policy of nondiscrimination, and sexual harassment complaint procedures; informing each participant of the duties of Defendants, their agents and employees pursuant to these policies; and specifying what disciplinary measures may be taken in the event of noncompliance, including possible termination and/or sanctions by the Court.
- Upon completion of the training, each participant shall sign a written statement in the form set forth in Exhibit B attesting to the date on which the training was completed, and to the fact that (1) he or she has received, read and understands the statements of nondiscrimination outlined in Section I(B)(1) above; 2) he or she has received the instructions described in Section I(B)(5-6) above; and 3) he or she will comply with this Decree.
- Maintain the following records for Las Casitas Apartments, and any other rental properties owned, managed, or acquired by Defendant Wingos during the term of this Decree:
- Name and apartment number of each tenant, the date the tenant signed the lease, a copy of the signed lease, and date of renewal or termination, the date that the Defendants received notice of the termination. For individuals whose leases are terminated by the Defendants or who are evicted, Defendants shall provide the reasons for said termination or eviction. For individuals who voluntarily terminate their leases and/or vacate their apartments, Defendants shall provide a space on the " move-out Form" given to each tenant at move-out, with a heading that indicates the tenant is to state his or her reasons for terminating the lease and/or vacating the apartment;
- Copies of all brochures used and advertisements placed by the Defendants, including the dates and media in which they were published or distributed. For advertisements that are published, unchanged, on an on-going basis, Defendants shall provide a copy of the advertisement, the name of the medium in which it is carried, and the dates that it has or is scheduled to run;
- Copies of statements of employees, agents, or entities retained by Defendant to manage or perform the duties and responsibilities of manager at the Las Casitas Apartments in which they acknowledge that they understand their obligations under this Decree, as required by Paragraph 7 above; and
- An Inquiry Log of all persons who inquire in person about the availability of apartments, stating the date of inquiry, whether they rented an apartment, if they were not offered an apartment after submitting an application an explanation of why. The Defendants or their agents will also request from all such persons their name, current address, and telephone number. If this information cannot be obtained from an individual because he or she is unwilling to provide it, such failure will not constitute a violation of this Decree.
- Allow the United States to inspect and copy all records described above, and other records relevant to compliance with this Decree, upon reasonable notice to Defendant. The United States shall attempt to minimize any inconvenience to the Defendant during the inspection and copying of such records.
- Provide to the United States (2) thirty (30) days after entry of this Decree, and every twelve (12) months after the entry of this Decree, for a period of three (3) years, a report containing the following:
- An affidavit from the Wingos affirming that all notices and signs required pursuant to Section I(B)(3) of the Decree have been posted, and specifying the locations in which they have been posted. If there has been no change in the location of the posters, and all posters previously affirmed remain visible in the same location(s), no new affidavit need be submitted;
- Copies of all signed statements prepared or secured pursuant to Section I(B)(7) that have not previously been forwarded; and
- Copies of all letters to credit agencies sent to comply with Section I(B)(2) above.
- Report to the United States in writing within fifteen (15) days of receipt of any complaint that comes to the attention of Defendant, whether communicated in writing, orally, or by any other means, of all discrimination complaints made by tenants or applicants, including but not limited to conduct alleged to constitute sexual harassment (including sexual assault, any unwanted physical touching, or any unwanted verbal comments of a sexual nature at any rental property), against the Wingos, their employees or agents, or other tenants, including the name and address of the complaining party, and the Defendants' response to the complaint. The parties acknowledge that the Wingos are currently self-reporting all discrimination complaints to the Riverside Fair Housing Council. It will be sufficient to copy the United States on those reports, provided that they contain all the information set forth above.
- Report to the United States in the event either William Wingo, Karen Wingo Cipriano, or Wingo Properties sells or otherwise disposes of their interest in any rental property owned, managed, or leased by them. Such notification shall be made within thirty (30) days after to the sale or transfer of interest and shall include the identity of the potential purchaser(s) or person(s) to whom the interest is being transferred.
- Report to the United States the identity of any entity or individual retained or used to manage or perform any of the duties and/or responsibilities of an apartment manager, at any rental property owned by the Wingos. The duties and/or responsibilities of an apartment manager include but are not limited to: collecting rent, regularly receiving repair or maintenance requests directly from tenants, showing apartments, and serving eviction papers or other notices to vacate. Such notification shall include the name, address, and telephone number of the entity or individual the Wingos intend to utilize. This section is not intended to apply to individuals whose sole responsibility is to perform maintenance or groundskeeping work at the properties.
- At the time of the signing of this Decree Defendant Stancyk's employment with the Wingo Defendants has been terminated. The Wingos agree not to rehire Defendant Stancyk in any capacity.
- Defendant Stancyk
- Is permanently enjoined from having any involvement in the rental real estate business, including owning, wholly or in part, operating, consulting, managing, staffing, participating in, working in (whether paid or unpaid), or otherwise having any involvement in ownership or management of rental housing properties.
- If Defendant Stancyk becomes involved in the residential real estate sales business, including participating as a real estate agent, operating, consulting, managing, staffing, participating in, or working in (whether paid or unpaid) a real estate sales business he must notify the United States within fifteen (15) days of becoming involved in the real estate sales business.
- Provide to the United States (3) six (6) months after entry of this Decree, and every six (6) months thereafter for a period of three (3) years, a report containing the name and address of his current employer and his job title.> >
It is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND AGREED that Defendants, their agents, employees, successors, (1) and all persons in active concert or participation with any of them, are hereby permanently enjoined from:
In addition to the injunctive provisions outlined in I.A.1-5, and consistent with the conditions set forth in Section II.E. of this Agreement, it is hereby ORDERED that for a period of three (3) years from the date of the entry of this Consent Decree Defendant Wingos, their agents, employees, successors, and all persons in active concert or participation with them, shall:
We are an equal opportunity housing provider. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability.
The words or logo should be prominently placed and easily legible.
In addition to the injunctive provisions outlined in I.A.1-5, it is hereby ORDERED that Defendant Stancyk: