Hand­i­capped dis­crim­i­na­tion rul­ing levied on BOC

The Covington News - - LOCAL - STAFF RE­PORTS news@cov­news.com

Ed­i­tor’s note: This press re­lease was pro­vided to The Cov­ing­ton News Fri­day, Aug. 4 by Com­mis­sioner J.C. Hen­der­son with an at­tached copy of the signed agree­ment, which can be viewed on our web­site at www.cov­news.com.

In 2015, ac­cu­sa­tions of dis­crim­i­na­tion on hand­i­capped cit­i­zens were made against Com­mis­sioner Nancy Schulz and the New­ton County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers for her ac­tions of en­force­ment of and changes to zon­ing reg­ula- tions for group homes through­out New­ton County, more specif­i­cally the Fan­tas­tic Fu­tures Group Home in Dis­trict 3. An in­ter­view was con­ducted by EOS Mechelle Puck­ett on Nov. 18, 2015 to gather in­for­ma­tion from Com­mis­sioner Nancy Schulz and Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jenny Carter con­cern­ing the Fan­tas­tic Fu­tures pro­posal and process one must go through to ap­ply for a con­di­tional use per­mit (CUP).

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment found that the New­ton County Board of Com­mis­sioner was in deed cul­pa­ble for dis­crim­i­nat­ing against the Fan­tas­tic Fu­tures Group Home and or­dered to pay ap­prox­i­mately $19,000 plus at­tor­ney fees in 2016. The ac­tions of Com­mis­sioner Schulz, which has cost the al­ready fi­nan­cially strained BOC thou­sands of dol­lars, has kept this en­tire or­deal hush-hush from the New­ton County cit­i­zens.

The BOC mem­bers state they pro­mote trans­parency. How­ever, this be­hav­ior does not pro­mote trans­parency. How­ever, this be­hav­ior does not pro­mote trans­parency within New­ton County. Depart­ment of Housing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment (HUD) has de­vised a Con­cil­i­a­tion Agree­ment/Vol­un­tary Com­pli­ance Agree­ment for a pe­riod of two years with an ef­fec­tive date of April 26, 2017 and re­quires the sig­na­ture of all New­ton County Com­mis­sion­ers.

There­fore, Com­mis­sioner Hen­der­son wants to make it known that he did not par­tic­i­pate or sup­port these dis­crim­i­na­tory ac­tions and does not con­done any of the decisions made by Com­mis­sioner Schulz.

Com­mis­sioner Hen­der­son states, “I love New­ton County and my com­mu­nity. Tar­get­ing a group that al­ready faces hard­ships on a daily ba­sis is un­ac­cept­able. I will con­tinue to fight for the cit­i­zens of New­ton County no mat­ter the race, gen­der, sex, eth­nic­ity, so­cial sta­tus or any form of dis­abil­ity. How­ever, due to the fact a law­ful or­der has been made against the BOC, I am be­ing forced into sign­ing this agree­ment by Aug. 8, 2017 so the Board of Com­mis­sion­ers will be in com­pli­ance.

“Be­fore I sign, I wanted to make sure the cit­i­zens un­der­stood I am sign­ing not as an ad­mis­sion of guilt of par­tic­i­pat­ing in the neg­li­gent be­hav­iors of Com­mis­sioner Schulz, but only as an act of pro­tect­ing the county’s in­ter­ests to move for­ward in abid­ing by the Fair Housing Act.”


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