Housing racial discrimination case settled
Feb 29,2008 00:00 by UPI

MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee real estate firm, an agent and homeowner will pay $35,000 for discriminating against a black school principal, the U.S. Justice Department said.

Justice officials Friday said RE/MAX Realty 100, real estate agent Phyllis Hasenstab and homeowner Edith Halvorsen were accused of violating the Fair Housing Act when they refused to negotiate the sale of Halvorsen's house with Tammi Doss, a Milwaukee school system principal. The department alleged Halvorsen told Hasenstab she didn't want to sell her home to a black person; the house later was sold to a white person, the department said.

Under the settlement awaiting court approval, the defendants will pay $30,000 to Doss and $5,000 to Margaret Silkey, Doss' real estate agent. It requires RE/MAX to train agents on fair housing regulations and report discrimination complaints to the Justice Department.

"The complaint alleges that a seller and her real estate agent colluded to discriminate against a school principal because she was African-American," said Grace Chung Becker, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. "We will continue our vigorous efforts to secure relief on behalf of aggrieved victims like Ms. Doss in our fight against illegal housing discrimination."

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