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Donald Wilcox Sues City of Holyoke and Geriatric Authority of Holyoke

2014/05/19 in Absurd, Alex Morse, GAH, Lawsuit, Mailbag, MGL, Patti Devine, Whistleblower

An anonymous email sent to me included photographs of documents outlining a lawsuit by recently terminated Donald Wilcox – former COO, CFO and executive director of the Geriatric Authority of Holyoke – against the City of Holyoke and the Geriatric Authority of Holyoke with allegations of discrimination and harassment by Patricia Devine, and that his termination was retribution against him for his whistle blowing to state agencies of ongoing impropriety at the Geriatric Authority of Holyoke.  Devine, then chairwoman of the Geriatric Authority of Holyoke board of directors resigning soon after this debacle because she “could no longer give the time and personal effort that the important position deserves”.  Well, for those that have been paying attention it does appear that she has newly found capacity because, while it is not officially announced, we are hearing folks congratulate her on her appointment to the Fire Commission.  What kind of damage can she do there?

.Here are the documents in full, sorry about the quality, these are photos by a still camera, not a scanner, enjoy:

Donald_Wilcox_v_GAH.pdf

7 pages, 4.1MB

Lyman Terrace Press Release

2012/08/01 in Alex Morse, Federal, HHA, Holyoke, Law, Lyman Terrace, Mailbag, MGL, Press Release, Ward 1

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 01-Aug-2012

Lyman Terrace Tenants File Suit Against City of Holyoke and Holyoke Housing Authority.

Holyoke, MA, 01-August-2012:  Attorney Peter Vickery on behalf of a group of Lyman Terrace residents filed a lawsuit today at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination against the City of Holyoke and the Holyoke Housing Authority which manages the 167 unit public housing project where the tenants reside, located in Ward 1 Holyoke near High, Lyman and Front Streets.  The expectation is that the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination will file an injunction in Superior Court to stop the planned demolition of Lyman Terrace.  A total of five legal claims are presented in the complaint: Violations of the Federal Fair Housing Act 42 USC § 3604; Federal Environmental Protection Regulation 40 CFR Part 7, Subpart B; Article 1 of The Massachusetts Constitution; and Massachusetts General Law 151B § 4 & 121B § 32.

Introduction to the Complaint is as follows:  The City of Holyoke and its Housing Authority have decided to seek permission to demolish Lyman Terrace, a public housing project in the downtown area.  Because most of the Lyman Terrace residents are Hispanic, the destruction of their homes – and the residents’ relocation away from Holyoke – would have a disparate impact on a protected class and would, therefore, constitute unlawful discrimination.  Complainants are asking the Commonwealth to seek and injunction from the Superior Court to stop the demolition.

Attorney Vickery comments:  ”We are asking for an injunction to stop the demolition of Lyman Terrace. This is a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood that the commonwealth considers an environmental Justice Community, meaning that government has to meaningfully involve the community in land-use decisions to ensure equality and equity.  Our legal basis is the anti-discrimination law, which prohibits land-use decisions that have a disparate impact on certain protected classes. We are saying that demolishing Lyman Terrace would be unlawful because it would have a disparate impact on Hispanic people. We are absolutely not accusing the mayor or anyone in city government of racism or bigotry.”

For more information please contact:

 

Latino Community Liaison
Darlene Elias

 

Tenants Association President
Sonia Gonzalez
55 East Court
Holyoke, MA 01040

 

Full text of the complaint:

Download (PDF, 131KB)

For more info about Lyman Terrace see HERE.

Link to the Lyman Terrace Facebook page see HERE.