Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America And The City Of Erie, Pennsylvania

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMPLAINT NUMBER 204-64-58

This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134, with the United States Department of Justice ("Department") against the City of Erie, Pennsylvania ("City"). The complaint was received by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, under the authority of 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F. The complainant alleges that the City has not completed either a self-evaluation or a transition plan, in violation of section 35.105 of the Department's title II regulation. 28 C.F.R. §35.105.

The Department is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F, to investigate fully the allegations of the complainant in this matter to determine the compliance of the City with title II of the ADA and the Department's implementing title II regulation, to issue findings, and, where appropriate, to negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized, under 42 U.S.C. § 12133, to bring a civil action enforcing title II of the ADA should the Department fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to Subpart F. In consideration of the terms of this Agreement as set forth below, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or from filing civil suit in this matter.

The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and the City of Erie, Pennsylvania. In order to avoid the burdens and expenses of an investigation and possible litigation, the parties hereby agree as follows:

1. The City is a public entity as defined in the Department of Justice's regulation implementing title II of the ADA. 28 C.F.R. § 35.104.

2. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability, in the services, programs, or activities of a public entity such as the City.

3. Under the ADA, the services, programs, or activities provided by the City, when viewed in their entirety, must be readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.

4. The subject of this Agreement is the completion of the self-evaluation and transition plan for the City.

5. Within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will complete the following:

a. Designate an ADA coordinator, pursuant to §35.107(a).

b. Establish a procedure for providing information on an on-going basis to City employees and the general public about their rights and protections under the ADA, pursuant to §35.106.

c. Adopt and publish a grievance procedure for resolving grievances arising under the ADA, pursuant to §35.107(b).

6. The City will submit a report on its implementation of the matters set forth in paragraph 5 within forty (40) days of the effective date of this Agreement.

7. Within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will complete its self-evaluation of its current policies and practices, pursuant to §35.105. The City will identify those policies and practices not in compliance with ADA requirements and will modify them to bring them into compliance. The City will provide the Department with a report containing the following:

a. A description of the areas examined and the problems identified.

b. A description of the modifications made.

8. Within one hundred twenty (120) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will complete its transition plan for structural changes required to achieve program accessibility, pursuant to §35.150(d). The plan will include:

a. Identification of physical obstacles in the City's facilities which limit program accessibility by persons with disabilities.

b. A detailed description of the method that will be used to make each facility accessible.

c. A schedule for making the modifications, if the total implementation will take more than one (1) year.

d. Identification of the City official responsible for implementation of the transition plan.

A copy of the transition plan will be provided to the Department and will also be made available for public inspection.

9. If at any time the City desires to modify any portion of this Agreement because of changed conditions making performance impossible or impractical, or for any other reason, it shall promptly notify the Department in writing, setting forth the facts and circumstances thought to justify modification and the substance of the proposed modification. Until there is written agreement by the Department to the proposed modification, the proposed modification shall not take effect.

10. The Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If it determines that this Agreement or any requirement thereof has been violated, it may institute a civil action seeking specific performance of the provisions of this Agreement in an appropriate Federal court.

11. Failure by the Department to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with regard to any deadline or any other provision herein shall not be construed as a waiver of the Department's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.

12. In the event that the City fails to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this Agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the Department as a temporary modification of the relevant terms of this Agreement, all terms of this Agreement shall become enforceable in an appropriate Federal court.

13. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person by the City or the Department on request.

14. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.

15. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement, shall be enforceable. This Agreement does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other Federal law. This Agreement does not affect the City's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.

For the City of Erie, Pennsylvania:

By:____________________________

JOYCE A. SAVOCCHIO, Mayor

The City of Erie

626 State Street Disability Rights Section

Erie, Pennsylvania 16501-1128

For the United States:

BILL LANN LEE

Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights

By:_________________________

JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief

ALLISON NICHOL, Deputy Chief

Civil Rights Division

U.S. Department of Justice

P.O. Box 66118

Washington, D.C. 20035-6118

Date ______________________

Date ______________________ >

Updated August 6, 2015

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