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Friday, August 07, 2009

Mpls. City Council member's racially charged feud with landlords surfaces in lawsuit

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Anonymous Tribune said...

A Minneapolis City Council member's racially-charged feud with landlords surfaced in a lawsuit, where the landlords claim Samuels assaulted one of them, violated their civil rights and cost them money.


Last update: August 7, 2009 - 9:53 AM

Three Minneapolis landlords are suing City Council Member Don Samuels, claiming he assaulted one of them, violated their civil rights and cost them money.

Harold S. Klock, Christine Klock and Morris Klock filed the lawsuit in Hennepin County District Court, but the city filed a notice this week to send the case to U.S. District Court.

The Klocks in their lawsuit and Samuels in his official written response present widely different accounts of dealings in the summer of 2007.

The Klocks say they own properties in Minneapolis and that Samuels had "an unpleasant experience with one or more tenants" on July 20, 2007, outside own of their rental properties and "demanded a meeting" with Morris Klock at a north side bakery.

In a response filed by assistant city attorneys, Samuels' response denies an unpleasant encounter, but agrees he asked Klock to meet him at the Butter Roll Bakery on West Broadway.

At the bakery, the Klocks' lawsuit claims Samuels had his aide "block the door" for 15-20 minutes while the council member backed up Morris Klock to a display case and screamed within inches of his face. Samuels, who lives in north Minneapolis, "claimed his own property values were dropping" and "he was being humiliated in the eyes of his constituents" because of Morris Klock, the lawsuit said.

In response, Samuels said his aide didn't block the door and he didn't back Klock up to a display case. He admits he raised his voice and yelled, but denied it was "within inches" of Klock's face. Samuels' also admitted in response that he said his property values were declining because of the Klocks' properties and "that it was difficult as a City Council member to look good in the city overall when Samuels' own home is within a few blocks" of the Klocks' properties and people must drive past those properties to get to Samuels' home.

The Klocks claim Samuels told Morris Klock he had "better do something" about the rental property where the July 2007 incident occurred or he would send city housing inspectors after him, the complaint said. The lawsuit also said Samuels said if city inspectors didn't come up with anything, he would send his own personal inspectors and if that didn't work the council member threatened to "rip" Klock a new body part.

In response, Samuels denied the discussion threatening to send inspectors or to harm Klock physically.

The complaint also claims Samuels, who is black, was upset because Klock is white and was renting property to black people.

Samuels' responded that he accused Klock of "renting substandard housing to poor African-American people."

The Klocks say after the bakery incident several properties owned or managed by them received visits from inspectors. The Klocks allege assault, intentional interference with contractual relations and deprivation of constitutional rights. They are seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

Samuels, through a response filed by assistant city attorneys Lynne Fundingsland and Greg Sautter, claims the lawsuit was brought in bad faith and that Samuels and the city are protected by various forms of immunity from claims.

Assistant City Attorney Jim Moore said the office wouldn't comment on a pending lawsuit. Samuels didn't immediately return a call.

Harold and Christine Klock live in South Dakota. Morris Klock lives in the Twin Cities, the lawsuit said.

Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing new here. City officials sending out inspectors has more to do with retaliation and big egos than with getting houses brought up to code.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the city council member should be arrested for kinapping and assualt.

And should be remove from office.
This kind of bull shit would not happend in st.Paul. They would make fix up your place. It would cost you alot of money.

And throw out the bad tenants and
charge for be dumb ass

11:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Setting a record for a blog where nobody posts.

Wait, I'am somebody ! Bob, oh Bob ?

8:05 PM  

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