Legislators Accuse Assistant AG of Inappropriate Interference in Disparate Impact Case

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On September 24, Representatives Lamar Smith (R-TX), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), and Darrell Issa (R-CA), along with Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder alleging that Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez struck an inappropriate deal with the City of St. Paul to entice the City to withdrawal its appeal in Magner v. Gallagher, a case that could have yielded a decision on whether disparate impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act, and if they are, the applicable legal standards for such claims. Based on a DOJ staff briefing and documents obtained from the DOJ, the lawmakers claim that the DOJ agreed not to intervene in a False Claims Act case pending against the City of St. Paul in exchange for the City abandoning its appeal, and that such an arrangement went beyond a standard settlement between the parties. The letters seeks additional documents and interviews of top DOJ officials by September 28, 2012.

 


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