Commentary

Letters

Page 2 of 3

The reason Melinda was shoveling at 5 a.m. was because I fell down the stairs when my shoes were wet and the sidewalks and parking area were not shoveled. So they were just looking out for the other tenants. Not everyone works banker's hours, so they were shoveling before everyone started to walk on the snow and it would be harder to shovel.

I would also like to know what gives you the right to print the picture with the address of the Dalton? I was sitting outside of the building with my dog on May 2 when two guys walked by talking about the article and making judgments--which is not fair to any of the other tenants who have to live here. The building used to be peaceful before you printed this article, and now we have no privacy at all.

Monica Clark
Denver

The Agency for Human Rights and Community Relations-Denver Anti-Discrimination Office began investigating charges of discrimination on February 1, 1991. Our first charge was an employment case filed on the basis of sexual orientation. From then until May 1, 1996, DADO has investigated 85 cases that cited sexual orientation as a basis of discrimination. The Denver ordinance is unique in that it recognizes sexual orientation, marital status and military status as protected classes.

The passage of Amendment 2 in 1992 did not affect the agency's jurisdiction in regard to charges of sexual-orientation discrimination. In fact, the agency was actively involved in the court case before Judge Jeffrey Bayless that resulted in the injunction. I presented testimony and docu-mentation on the numbers of related cases filed and investigated by the agency. The agency's testimony and documentation clearly stated that people are subjected to illegal discrimination due to their sexual orientation. This has occurred in employment, housing and public-accommodation arenas.

At no time were the complainants in Michelle Dally Johnston's story told that the agency could not help them. Their case was filed on January 9, 1996; a fact-finding conference was held on March 5, 1996; time was spent collecting information to support the no-fault settlement offer; and presently, the complainant and respondent are in negotiation. If a settlement is not reached, a formal investigation will begin and an official cause ruling will be made.

The no-fault settlement process has proven to be a successful tool for civil rights enforcement. Due to the great expense and time-consuming nature of litigation, every effort is made to conciliate early resolution of cases. This is true of all our cases. This procedure has proven to benefit the complainant, the respondent and the agency, with its limited staff resources.

Though the ordinance set timelines of 270 days after service of the complaint or 270 days after completion of the investigation to determine jurisdiction and make a cause ruling, the majority of our cases are finalized within 270 days or less. If a case advances through the administrative hearing process, such may take up to one year. No-fault settlements typically are reached within 180 days or less. The agency is proud of our record on administration of our caseload. This record cannot be matched by any other civil rights enforcement agency at any level, local, state or federal. This is true even though the staff resources of those agencies are far greater than DADO's.

Finally, in my capacity as compliance officer, I elected to transfer said case to the agency investigator. I was not taken off of the case, as stated by the writer.

Brenda Toliver-Locke
Denver

You Take the High Road...
With respect to Alan Prendergast's article, "Dear *#%&!!," in the April 25 issue:

It's not that I lack the eloquence or lucidity to defend myself; people know that, but I'd prefer to take the high road on this nonsense. I think that honor is far too important to allow into an arena of the arbitrary histrionics this kind of brinksmanship invites.

You (Westword), the Boulder courts and I all have a copy of my intense and specific rebuttal to the allegations made against me, and I find myself satisfied with that, strangely enough. Everyone who really counts and needs to know the truth, does. Others don't count--I can't allow that. Now, perhaps, finally we can all get back to our respective lives and try to be constructive about something important.

Grant D. Cyrus
Boulder

Letters policy: Westword wants to hear from you, whether you have a complaint or compliment about what we write from week to week. Letters should be no more than 200 words; we reserve the right to edit for libel, length and clarity. Although we'll occasionally withhold an author's name on request, all letters must include your name, address and telephone number.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.

Latest Stories