Federal suit targets landlord
By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 22, 2000
The attorney for a Meridian landlord accused in a federal lawsuit of racial discrimination for segregating his rental properties said Thursday his client has not violated fair housing laws.
Jackson attorney Sam Wilkins said U.S. Department of Justice officials wrongfully accused his client, Alden M. "Bubber" Wallace, of keeping "white" and "black" coded telephone logs and vacancy lists.
The suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Jackson, names Wallace; his wife, Priscilla Pringle Wallace; his mother, Nell Wallace; and four companies in which Wallace has ownership interests Amerihomes LLC, Wallace Rentals LLC, The Management Group LLC and Wallace Management and Developers Corp.
Wallace owns Valley Mobile Home Trailer Park, the Louie Lee Apartments on Frontage Road and other trailer parks and homes on Jeffrey Acres Road, Causeyville Road and Long's Lane.
The suit alleges Wallace imposed "more onerous" terms on black tenants and wrongfully evicted black tenants from "designated white properties."
Wilkins said U.S. Justice Department officials alleged racial discrimination on Nov. 1 when they asked to see Wallace's records.
Wilkins said Justice officials have declined to release any evidence or circumstances surrounding their allegations.
U.S. Attorney Brad Pigott, whose office joined in the investigation, said Wallace had blatantly forced blacks into segregated facilities.
No trial date has been set.
Wilkins said he hopes to learn more about the allegations during discovery, the next step in the civil suit process.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at email@example.com.