Saying that a housing discrimination lawsuit filed against the city must be handled well to avoid far-reaching effects on city development in general, the New Berlin Common Council will try to beef up its legal team.
The focus of the federal housing discrimination lawsuit is specifically an affordable housing project, initially opposed by the city, that has been proposed for the New Berlin City Center. Even though the city has since preliminarily settled a separate legal challenge by the developer to allow the project to proceed, the U.S. Justice Department has yet to drop its case.
The council will interview two law firms specializing in housing discrimination cases. It interviewed the first one last night, questioning representatives from the firm of Gonzalez, Saggio & Harlan. Reinhart, Boemer, Van Deuren is the other firm.
Technically, the developer, Minneapolis-based MPS Real Estate, also has yet to officially drop its state lawsuit, filed in March, but the city has agreed to a memorandum of understanding that has been accepted by MSP.
So the legal team would likely focus on the federal lawsuit, which the Justice Department filed in June alleging that New Berlin violated federal fair housing statutes by blocking a proposed low- to moderate-income apartment project in the City Center.
There are indications the city's efforts may be unnecessary. While the city hasn't heard from the Justice Department about its plans, a hearing on the federal case was called off this week, which could signal that the lawsuit is being re-evaluated.
Still, city officials are exploring potential supplementary legal help if the case goes forward or results in a consent decree - basically is an agreement between parties that can be negotiated and which settles the lawsuit.
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Muskego-Norway School District to move middle school start time back
- Muskego-Norway School District to expand use of photo badges
- Aquatic experts gather to devise battle plan for new pest found in Little Muskego Lake
- The musical "Catch Me If You Can" will be staged at Muskego High School
- Updated: Interim appointed after New Berlin West boys basketball coach arrested for pot (1)
- Milwaukee man accused of sexually assaulting 15-year-old Muskego girl
- Muskego reduces times, days for private fireworks
- Muskego blaze that destroyed a building Monday started between floors
- Muskego High School marching band heads to New Orleans
- Wauwatosa committee denies funding request to accelerate Innovation Campus hotel