When John Whitbeck, who infamously kicked off a Ken Cuccinelli rally a few months ago by regaling the crowd with a not-at-all-funny, anti-Semitic “joke,” apparently has a long history of acting in a bigoted fashion. As it turns out, when Whitbeck was President of the Lansdowne on the Potomac Homeowners’ Association, the HOA was sued (and eventually settled with the plaintiffs) for racial/ethnic/religious discrimination. A few key details from the lawsuit (which was for $500k in compensatory damages, $350k in punitive damages, “reasonable attorney’s fees,” etc.) are as follows (see on the “flip” – and click to “embiggen” – for screen shots from the lawsuit):
*The defendant was the “Lansdowne on the Potomac Homeowners Association,” which John Whitbeck has served as president of (and also has been a long-time, active board member).
*The plantiffs were Muslims, from Egypt, who owned a single-family detached home in the community.
*The HOA was accused of threatening and intimidating the plaintiffs, face to face at their home, to pressure them into shutting down their home-based daycare business. This allegedly came AFTER the plaintiffs had been told by the HOA that they would be allowed to operate a daycare facility from their home. The plaintiffs say that it was ONLY after they received this assurance that they closed on their home.
*The plaintiffs charged that others in the community ran similar daycare operations out of their homes, but that those people were not pressured to shut their businesses down. Only the plaintiffs were so pressured, they charged.
*The HOA also were accused of harassing the plaintiffs about a political yard sign (presumably pro-Obama) in 2008, while other members of the community did NOT receive any letters or demands to remove their sign(s). Hmmmm.
*The plaintiffs also charged that the HOA refused to accept their monthly HOA dues in a timely fashion, then proceeded to impose late fees after so refusing.
*The plaintiffs also charged that the HOA harassed them about a style of fencing, when they allegedly had NOT so harassed other residents.
*The lawsuit charged: “The conduct of all the Defendants, jointly and severally, was willful, malicious and in reckless disregard of the rights of the Plaintiffs…”