Employee sues Freddie Mac for race discrimination

June 04, 1998
Freddie Mac faces a $15 million race-discrimination lawsuit from a former executive who claims it created a ``hostile work environment'' that subjected black employees to threats and racial slurs. Tony Morgan, Freddie Mac's former director of executive corporate relations, sued Wednesday in U.S. District Court, alleging a ``pattern and practice of intentional discrimination.''

Akron group complains against Internet provider for discriminatory ad

June 04, 1998
A private fair housing group in Akron has filed a complaint against an apartment complex and the Internet provider that hosted its web page for an online advertisement that contained the phrase "adult living." "It will be interesting to see who has liability in this case," said Vincent Curry, executive director of the Fair Housing Advocates Association. "If it was a newspaper ad, not only could the housing provider be held liable, but the newspaper itself." The group filed the complaint with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.

Pressure growing for hearing on NationsBank merger

June 02, 1998
NationsBank's mortgage lending record is drawing criticism from some low-income housing groups, which are asking federal regulators to block the proposed merger with BankAmerica Corp. The Charlotte-based bank denied mortgage applications in the Triangle from African-Americans four times as often as from whites in 1996, the most recent year for which information is available. While that ratio isn't much different from other local lenders, critics say it is reason enough for the feds to put greater pressure on NationsBank to improve its lending practices.

Blacks, whites gather in Tulsa to remember race riots

June 02, 1998
Mabel Little had something to say to those assembled on the 77th anniversary of one of the nation's worst race riots. ``God bless you wonderful people!'' said Mrs. Little, who lost her church, her business and 35 blocks of her community when white mobs torched it in two days of rioting on June 1, 1921. Hundreds -- both black and white -- attended an emotional ``assembly of repentance'' on Monday in a bare lot where Tulsa's thriving black business district once proudly stood.

Ohio panel sues landlord for discrimination

May 30, 1998
The Ohio Civil Rights Commission yesterday sued the owners and managers of two area apartment complexes, accusing them of discriminating against people with disabilities, blacks and renters with children. Farkas Rentals, operating apartments on Swartz Rd. in Akron, was sued in Summit County Common Pleas Court for allegedly failing to rent to blacks and families with children.

Illinois hotel settles race bias suit

May 30, 1998
A Holiday Inn in this Chicago suburb agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit accusing the hotel of discriminating against black job applicants and guests. The settlement, announced Friday, will be shared by about 1,000 black people who were turned down for jobs from 1990 to 1995.
     Federal investigators said the motel coded job applications from black people with the number 8, after the black eight-ball in pool. Desk clerks also were told to place blacks in first floor rooms so police ``would be able to get them out quickly if they came to arrest them,'' said Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawyer Gregory Gochanour.

Jury pops life insurance company for $1 million

May 28, 1998
Jurors awarded $1 million to a couple who were denied life insurance by an Ohio company because they do not speak or read English. ``I'm very, very happy that justice exists,'' the couple's daughter, Lissette Otero, said after Wednesday's ruling. ``Thank God we have a judicial system here that treats everyone the same, no matter where you're from."

Community activist goes on hunger strike against merger

May 27, 1998
A community activist started a hunger strike Tuesday to protest the proposed merger between NationsBank and BankAmerica, saying the larger bank would be more prone to overlook the needs of low-income, rural areas.
      Stella Adams, executive director of the North Carolina Fair Housing Coalition, said small communities already starved for cash to create businesses will be left out by the merger.
      "This thing is so big that the small communities are being lost in the shuffle," she said. "When you look at what states comprise this new market, a significant part of it is rural and Southern, rural and poor."

L.A. may be added to list of investigated housing authorities

May 21, 1998
According to Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Redlands), chairman of a House subcommittee with HUD oversight, Los Angeles faces the possibility of being targeted for a federal public housing investigation, despite earlier reports that Housing and Urban Development Department investigators had already picked Baltimore, New Orleans and San Francisco.
      His remarks are likely to continue the controversy over HUD's examination of those cities, all with black Democratic mayors, among mayors groups and Democratic leaders who complained that the selection was politically and racially motivated. If Los Angeles--whose mayor is a white Republican--is selected, it would defuse some of the complaints. HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo has criticized the targeting of the original three cities by HUD Inspector General Susan Gaffney, saying it appeared to be "illegal or unethical."

Merged bank pledges $350 billion for community lending

May 21, 1998
Reaction was mixed to a pledge by merger partners NationsBank and BankAmerica to lend $350 billion in the next 10 years to low- to moderate-income and minority customers. Unveiled Wednesday without much fanfare, the pledge from the top executives at the soon-to-be-merged banks features a package of products and services, including mortgages, small business loans and consumer loans.


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