BOSTON – Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb announced today that, due to the recent approval of the settlement between the Town of Dudley and the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester, his office is closing the investigation into whether the Town of Dudley violated a federal civil rights law that protects against religious discrimination.
“We are pleased that the town of Dudley and the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester reached an agreement,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Weinreb. “Our role is to ensure that cities and towns do not discriminate on the basis of religion, and the agreement affirms the commitment by both parties to abide by federal law.”
In August 2016, the U.S. Attorney’s Office launched an investigation to determine whether the Town of Dudley had infringed on the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester’s right to religious exercise, by placing unreasonable barriers to, and previously denying, their request for a permit to establish an Islamic cemetery. Although the parties signed a settlement agreement in December 2016, the U.S. Attorney’s Office kept its investigation open, pending final approvals from the Town of Dudley.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is authorized to investigate allegations of discriminatory treatment under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which, among other things, prohibits discrimination against any assembly or institution on the basis of religion.
The Civil Rights Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office was established in 2015 with the mission of enhancing federal civil rights enforcement. For more information on the Office’s civil rights efforts, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-ma/civil-rights.