A federal judge in Alexandria has dismissed a suit that contended retarded people in Manassas, who were trying to establish a group home there, had been the subjects of discrimination. The suit had been filed against the mayor of Manassas, its City Council members and other city officials.
"There's just no evidence the mayor or the (city) council is out to get them or this group home," said U.S. District Judge Oren R. Lewis in dismissing the suit last week.
Lewis said that he will take under advisement similar claims against the city itself after reviewing evidence in the case.
[WORD ILLEGIBLE] Inc., the group that represented [WORD ILLEGIBLE] mentally retarded men who wanted to live in the home, claimed that the requirement that Insight must have a special-use permit to locate the home in the city violated their constitutional rights and that the city and its officials discriminated against the mentally retarded individuals by taking 10 months before finally allowing the home to operate.
The home, which was issued a special-use permit last June, now houses five retarded residents and a house-keeper at 8603 Stonewall Rd. in Manassas.
The city contended in court that it had done nothing illegal and that it amended its zoning ordinance to require special-use permits for the home in compliance with a recent state law. The law states that group homes for mentally retarded persons can be provided in appropriate zoning districts without unnecessary restrictions, except those necessary to protect the health and safety of the residents.
After a five-hour hearing, Lewis said he found no evidence of wrongdoing by the city officials. "I'm not going to presume they're setting out to do an illegal act.
"There isn't a scintilla of evidence attributing any wrongdoing individually."