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BAMAPHIN 22
08-08-2006, 09:03 AM
The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday sued Los Angeles Clippers (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/teams/clippers) owner and real estate mogul Donald Sterling for housing discrimination, claiming he refused to rent apartments to blacks and families with children.

Federal prosecutors contend that Sterling, his wife, Rochelle, and their family trust refused to rent to many prospective tenants, treated them poorly and misrepresented the availability of apartments to them in the city's Koreatown section.

The defendants also are accused of refusing to rent to black prospective tenants in Beverly Hills as well as families with children looking to rent apartments that the defendants owned or managed in Los Angeles County.

"Here in Los Angeles, where housing is already at a premium, it is imperative that no one be denied housing simply because of their skin color, ethnic background or because they have children," said U.S. Attorney Debra Wong Yang.

A message left with attorney Michael Kennick, who has represented Sterling in previous lawsuits, was not immediately returned Monday.

Claiming violations of the federal Fair Housing Act, the lawsuit seeks an end to "discriminating on account of race, national origin and familial status," plus unspecified monetary damages and penalties. The lawsuit also names as defendants the Sterling Family Trust and the Korean Land Company, which owns multifamily rental properties throughout the county.

In November, a federal judge ordered Sterling to pay nearly $5 million in fees to plaintiffs' attorneys in a lawsuit accusing him of discriminating against black and Hispanic tenants.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/basketball/nba/08/07/bc.bko.clippersownersue.ap/index.html