Sometimes we do Nice Time here at yr Wonkette when bad people get their just desserts and when good people finally prevail. Other times, we just can’t get to Nice Time because the underlying bits are so awful that the resolution doesn’t really make us feel any better.
A few months ago, we told you all about the horror of Gilmor Homes, a public housing project in Baltimore. Seems that in order to get repairs done on your no doubt already-horrible project apartment, you were forced to trade sexual favors with the creepy maintenance workers. The allegations in the lawsuit were the kind where you end up reading them through your fingers like you’re watching a horror movie. They weren’t just cringeworthy. They were more like whole-body-shudder-worthy.
Another woman, a 33-year-old single mother, said she succumbed to Coleman’s pressure and performed oral sex and later intercourse. She said in an affidavit that Coleman exposed himself to her in his office. She said she gave in to his demands because she was “shocked, young, scared, fleeing an abusive relationship and worried about the health and safety of my daughter.”
A third woman, who did not reveal her age, said Coleman made unwelcome physical contact with her. Rejecting his advances, she wrote in an affidavit, has resulted in “allowing dangerous conditions to fester in my home unabated,” including peeling paint, a rat infestation and no heat in two of her rooms.
On Friday, the lawyers for the 19 (Jesus Fucking Christ 19!) women announced a settlement in the case.
Besides a financial award between $6 million and $7.5 million, the settlement required Baltimore to fire and ban all the abusers from Housing Authority property, move the plaintiffs into livable homes. The Housing Authority also created 50 new maintenance positions with new policies and procedures, and cut down their backlog of repairs from over 4,000 to 1,500.
Now see, those are all good things to have happen. Baltimore needs more public housing maintenance workers, damn straight the plaintiffs should end up in better homes, and we’re pretty pleased that they got money, but having to go through what they went through to get there is just awful.
Now, it is not yr Wonkette’s place to speculate on the strength of this case, but yr Wonkette will note that municipalities typically do not move fast enough to settle things in just a few months unless the underlying case is pretty much a slam dunk for the other side. Turns out there were numerous complaints, and the Baltimore Housing Authority’s inspector general knew of the complaints as early as December 2013.
In conclusion, everything is still terrible, these women shouldn’t have had to go through this, and Baltimore’s housing authority is probably either a cesspool or run by morons or both. We raise a half-filled glass to cheer to the fact that there was a settlement in this case, but we would have been far happier and raised a full glass if it actually included the opportunity for each and every one of the plaintiffs and some assorted guests to rochambeau these fuckers South Park style.