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.