A Dawson County District Court Jury found largely in favor of a Lexington apartment owner and the apartment manager in a civil trial last week but, could not reach agreement on one allegation. Gerald Rich, owner of Cottonwood Apartments in Lexington and Manager Lori Reinick were accused by the State of Nebraska of discrimination under the Nebraska Fair Housing Act. Many of the apartment residents are refugees.
The jury determined that Reinick did not engage in a pattern or practice of housing discrimination. However the jury was deadlocked on whether Gerald Rich engaged in a pattern or practice of housing discrimination.
On another issue, the jury found that Rich did not engage in retaliation against two apartment residents who filed a complaint with the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission.
A future hearing may be scheduled to determine how to proceed on the issue the jury deadlocked. Hearings have been scheduled for three individuals who allegedly failed to show for jury duty.
The trial began on June 19th and lasted for about a week-and-a-half. The jury deliberated for about 15 hours over three days before submitting their decision to the court on Friday, June 30th .