Satsuma agrees to pay $64,500, change zoning laws to settle discrimination suit

Pamela Williams sparked the federal lawsuit that was settled this week. (Mobile Press-Register, John David Mercer.)
Pamela Williams sparked the federal lawsuit that was settled this week. (Mobile Press-Register, John David Mercer.)

Associated Press - Friday, September 17, 2010, 7:19 PM

SATSUMA, Ala. (AP) -The U.S. Justice Department announced today that Satsuma had agreed to pay $64,500 and change its zoning laws to settle a long-running housing discrimination lawsuit.
           
Under a consent decree, the city will pay $59,000 to the operator of a group home for three mentally disabled women plus a $5,500 civil penalty to the federal government.
          
"Americans with disabilities — like all Americans — have a right to live within their communities without facing discrimination," Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez said in a prepared statement. "This comprehensive settlement compensates the individuals who were harmed and will prevent future housing discrimination against the city's most vulnerable citizens." 
            
          
In a similar case, a judge ordered Saraland to allow a group home for mentally retarded adults. Rutens said the consent decree approved this week in the Satsuma case represents an attempt to set up a process that complies with state law and still satisfies the Justice Department.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.