115 F.3d 487 (7th Cir. 1997), 96-2906, Krueger v. Cuomo

Docket Nº:96-2906.
Citation:115 F.3d 487
Party Name:Lyle KRUEGER, Petitioner, v. Andrew M. CUOMO, Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Respondent.
Case Date:June 03, 1997
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Page 487

115 F.3d 487 (7th Cir. 1997)

Lyle KRUEGER, Petitioner,


Andrew M. CUOMO, Secretary of the United States Department

of Housing and Urban Development, Respondent.

No. 96-2906.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

June 3, 1997

Argued March 31, 1997.

Page 488

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 489

Gerald A. Goldman, Arthur R. Ehrlich, Jonathan C. Goldman (argued), Chicago, IL, for Petitioner.

Jessica Dunsay Silver, Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Appellate Section, Washington, DC, Elizabeth Crowder, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Chicago, IL, Nelson Diaz, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC, Michelle M. Aronowitz (argued), United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC, for Respondent.

Before FLAUM, KANNE, and ROVNER, Circuit Judges.

FLAUM, Circuit Judge.

Lyle Krueger petitions for review of a decision and order of the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") concluding that Krueger violated the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq., by sexually harassing one of his tenants. We affirm.


In April 1992, Debbie Maze was living in Kenosha, Wisconsin with her two children, ages four and three, in her sister's two-bedroom apartment, also home to the sister's boyfriend and four children. Maze had been searching for an apartment for three months, and her section 8 housing voucher was due to expire in late May. So when she saw a "for rent" sign on an apartment owned by Lyle Krueger, she inquired within and found Krueger, who gave her a rental application and suggested they meet the next morning for breakfast.

At the breakfast meeting, it became apparent that Maze could not afford the three-bedroom, $547-a-month apartment, for her housing voucher provided only $395 for a two-bedroom apartment, to which she was expected to add a personal contribution of $52 per month. Although Krueger initially refused to rent the apartment to Maze, he soon changed his mind. He located Maze through her sister, a former tenant, and arranged for another breakfast meeting. At this second meeting, Krueger told Maze that she could pay money on the side or "fool around or something" to make up the $100 shortfall. She declined this payment scheme, but Krueger nevertheless agreed to rent her the apartment. Maze did not own a car, and Krueger gave her a ride home from their meeting. In his car, Krueger rubbed Maze's

Page 490

thigh and predicted, "we're going to be close." Maze asked Krueger not to touch her.

On May 11, Krueger and Maze went to the Kenosha Housing Authority to sign a rental agreement. In the elevator on the way to the office, Krueger touched Maze, rubbed her, and tried to kiss her. She told him to stop, a request he greeted with laughter. After the two had signed the lease, an undaunted Krueger once again prophesied that he and Maze "were going to be real close." Maze was so disturbed by Krueger's behavior that, later the same day, she returned alone to the Housing Authority. There, she reported Krueger's advances to a Housing Authority official, Paula Lattergrass, who urged her not to take the apartment. Maze felt that she had few alternatives other than to move into the apartment, but she did, at the suggestion of Lattergrass, file complaints against Krueger with the Urban League and HUD.

Krueger's unwelcome advances continued after Maze moved into the apartment on May 13. He made a habit (three to four times a week, Maze recalled) of arriving unannounced; he would knock on the first-floor doorway, enter before Maze could respond, and climb the internal staircase to her apartment. Once inside, he would grab and touch Maze, doing so on at least one occasion in front of her children. He suggested that she send the children to her mother's so that she and...

To continue reading