U.S. Attorney's Office Files Suit Against Landlord Alleging Sexual Harassment of Tenant
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado
DENVER – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announced that it has filed a civil complaint in federal district court alleging that Vernon C. Morgan, Jr., violated the Fair Housing Act by discriminating on the basis of sex when he subjected a former tenant at a property he owns in Greeley, Colorado, to sexual harassment, and by retaliating against her by attempting to evict her after she confronted him about the harassment and obtained a civil protection order against him.
The lawsuit stems from a complaint that the tenant filed with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which, after an investigation by HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, found reasonable cause that discrimination and retaliation had occurred. The tenant made an election under the Fair Housing Act to have the Department of Justice, through the U.S. Attorney’s Office, file a complaint on her behalf.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting tenants who are subjected to unwanted sexual advances and comments,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan. “Sexual harassment related to housing is particularly egregious because everyone should be able to feel safe in their home. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to work with HUD to investigate and hold accountable landlords who violate the Fair Housing Act.”
Additional information about the Fair Housing Act, including information about how to file a complaint, can be found on HUD’s website at https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/fair_housing_act_overview.
The claims made in the complaint are allegations that, if the case proceeds to trial, the government must prove by a preponderance of the evidence.
This case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Lake and Zeyen Wu.
Public Affairs Specialist
Updated January 25, 2023