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(a) Any person claiming to be aggrieved by a violation of any of the provisions of Section 628.02 may, by himself or herself or by his or her attorney at law, make, sign and file with the Clerk of Council a written verified complaint, which complaint shall state the name and address of the person alleged to have committed the violation complained of and shall set forth the particulars of the alleged violation and such other information as may be required by the Fair Housing Board. Such complaint shall be filed within sixty days after the alleged act of discrimination.
(b) After the filing of any complaint, the Chairperson of the Board shall designate a subcommittee of one or more of the members to make a prompt investigation in connection therewith. If such member or members determine, after such investigation, that there is probable cause for believing that the allegations of the complaint are true, the subcommittee shall immediately endeavor to eliminate the unlawful discriminatory practice complained of by conference, conciliation and persuasion. The members of the Board shall not disclose what has transpired in the course of such endeavors except to other members of the Board. Members of Council and the Mayor may be advised upon completion of the proceeding, but advice of the Law Director may be sought at any time.
(c) In the case of failure to so eliminate such practice, or in advance thereof if, in the subcommittee's judgment, circumstances so warrant, the subcommittee shall cause to be issued and served in the name of the Board, a written notice, together with a copy of such complaint, upon the person charged with having engaged or engaging in an unlawful discriminatory practice, hereinafter referred to as the respondent, to answer the charges of such complaint at a hearing before the Board, at a time and place to be specified in such notice. The place of any such hearing shall be the office of the Board or such other place as may be designated by it. The case in support of the complaint shall be presented before the Board by the Law Director or an assistant. The endeavors at conciliation shall not be received in evidence. The respondent may file a written verified answer to the complaint and appear at such hearing in person or otherwise, with or without counsel, and submit testimony. At the discretion of the Board, the complainant may be allowed to intervene and present testimony in person or by counsel. The Board or the complainant may, reasonably and fairly amend any complaint, and the respondent shall have like power to amend his or her answer. The Board shall not be bound by the strict rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law or equity. The testimony taken at the hearing shall be under oath and recorded. If, upon all the evidence at the hearing, the Board finds that a respondent has engaged in any unlawful discriminatory practice, the Board shall state its findings of fact and shall issue and cause to be served on such respondent an order requiring such respondent to cease and desist from such unlawful discriminatory practice and to take such affirmative action as may be indicated to effectuate the provisions of this chapter. If, upon all the evidence, the Board finds that a respondent has not engaged in any such unlawful discriminatory practice, the Board shall state its findings of fact and shall issue and cause to be served on the complainant an order dismissing the complaint as to such respondent. A copy of its order shall be delivered, in all cases, to the Clerk of Council. The Board shall establish rules of practice to govern, expedite and effectuate the procedure set forth in this section and its own actions hereunder. Any complaint filed pursuant to this section must be so filed within sixty days after the alleged act of discrimination.
(Ord. 84-40. Passed 6-18-84.)