Thursday, February 20, 2020

Jewish School Sues Town For Religious Discrimination

A religious discrimination suit was filed in a New York federal district court this week by an Orthodox Jewish girl's school against the Town of Clarkstown, New York charging it with wrongfully preventing the school from purchasing a Baptist Church property.  The complaint (full text) in Ateres Bais Yaakov Academy of Rockland v. Town of Clarkston, (SDNY, filed 2/18/2020), alleges in part:
In early January 2019, in reaction to ABY’s pending permit application following its entry into a contract for the purchase of the Property, Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann, other Clarkstown officials and members of a Rockland County political party, members of CUPON, and CUPON’s counsel met to concoct a plan to prevent ABY’s purchase of the Property.
... In parallel to the manufactured public pressure from CUPON, the Town denied ABY’s permit application through a blatant misapplication of its zoning laws....
Following its knowing interference with and evisceration of ABY’s contract topurchase the  Property and months of delay, the Town purchased the Property for itself. For the Town, this is but the latest example in a demonstrable pattern of wreaking havoc on religious property applicants to prevent their engagement in the Clarkstown community. 
Lower Hudson News reports on the lawsuit.