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Iowa - City of Postville Pays $450,000 to Jewish Businessman In Discrimination Suit

Published on: September 1, 2011 03:46 PM
By: VIN News Staff
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Gabay Menahem.Gabay Menahem.

Postiville, IA - Gabay Menahem, a former businessman and property owner here, has received $450,000 to settle discrimination and business interference lawsuits filed in state and federal court against the City of Postville, the city clerk and two members of the city council.

Menahem, a Hasidic Jew, alleged that Darcy Radloff, the city clerk; Virginia Medberry and Jeff Reinhardt, both members of the Postville City Council; had discriminated against him and his business, GAL Investments Ltd., on the basis of his Jewish faith. In so doing, they violated the Iowa constitution, the Iowa Civil Rights Act, the federal Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The allegations in the 22-count lawsuits filed in September 2010 were based primarily on hostile and injurious comments as well as published statements. The alleged bigoted behavior culminated with a string of discriminatory actions taken by the three defendants in their roles as agents of the City of Postville.

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The lawsuits specifically alleged that Radloff in her role as city clerk circumvented and manipulated the rules governing the provision of municipal water in order to allow huge bills to amass at Menahem-owned properties. As a result Menahem suffered financially, allegedly losing many of his lenders as the artificial debts imposed by the City were turned into liens on his rental properties. GAL eventually collapsed.

Menahem notified city officials of the clerk’s alleged discrimination and abuse of authority, and he asked for help numerous times. Despite his pleas, the City of Postville allegedly failed to halt the abuse or to remedy her discriminatory practices. 

The settlement terms also call for the City of Postville to host a community workshop on diversity issues, aimed at promoting tolerance and respect for different faiths and cultures. The workshop will be sponsored by Iowa State University.

Menahem was represented by civil rights attorneys David Goldman of Babich Goldman P.C. and Thomas Newkirk of the Newkirk Law Firm, both of Des Moines, Iowa. The attorneys reached an out-of-court settlement with the City of Postville.

“Mr. Menahem is pleased to have this matter resolved,” Goldman said. “We very much appreciate that the good people of Postville elected to resolve this case. One hopes that the community workshop can help with the city’s continued healing, while underscoring the need for the diverse cultures within Postville to unite rather than divide.”

While the City of Postville admitted no wrongdoing, Mr. Menahem says he “is satisfied that the settlement’s terms send a clear message that elected officials will be held accountable for their actions, and any practices that violate civil and constitutional rights will not be tolerated.” 


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Read Comments (36)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Sep 01, 2011 at 04:12 PM walkinsilence Says:

This article should be posted on every internet site & blog. This is a community which hates Jews. It should be publicized where ever possible.

2

 Sep 01, 2011 at 04:05 PM yochtzel Says:

Does Radloff still have her job???

3

 Sep 01, 2011 at 03:56 PM Aryeh Says:

Iy"h he can donate the settlement to the SMR defense fund!

4

 Sep 01, 2011 at 04:39 PM Anonymous Says:

Will this have any impact on the abuse of power/injustice that happened to SMR?

5

 Sep 01, 2011 at 04:42 PM Liepa Says:

Kol hakavod Mr Gabay for having the guts to sue these choleras.

6

 Sep 01, 2011 at 04:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
walkinsilence Says:

This article should be posted on every internet site & blog. This is a community which hates Jews. It should be publicized where ever possible.

Why does it hate Jews? Because one anti-semite tried to hurt a Jewish businessman, or because they prosecuted a Jewish criminal who deserved it?

7

 Sep 01, 2011 at 04:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Aryeh Says:

Iy"h he can donate the settlement to the SMR defense fund!

Why would he do that? I have a better Idea: Why don't you donATE ALL OF your INCOME TO THE REBASHKIN FELONY DEFENSE FUND?

8

 Sep 01, 2011 at 05:04 PM walkinsilence Says:

#6 The set-up of your question (double-bind, answer-justifies-contention) reminds me of methods used to "question" suspects assumed to be stupid.

9

 Sep 01, 2011 at 05:04 PM Anonymous Says:

potsville looks to me to be some farsholtene city with a very anti enviroment against yiden,

just get outa there n do business in other friendly cities

10

 Sep 01, 2011 at 05:37 PM harryw Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Why does it hate Jews? Because one anti-semite tried to hurt a Jewish businessman, or because they prosecuted a Jewish criminal who deserved it?

Ridiculas comment. Believe me, it dosnt take much effort to go thru your business and activities and put up a 20 count allegation for inappropriate financial activity.

11

 Sep 01, 2011 at 05:52 PM shredready Says:

Reply to #10  
harryw Says:

Ridiculas comment. Believe me, it dosnt take much effort to go thru your business and activities and put up a 20 count allegation for inappropriate financial activity.

spoken like a frum business man

12

 Sep 01, 2011 at 05:51 PM shredready Says:

REBASHKIN committed fraud get over it he is not an innocent person by any means.

he was arrested found guilty because he committed fraud not because he is a yid

if a yid commits fraud one cannot scream antisemitism when the get caught and prosecuted

frum is not a get out of jail card

and what happened to gal by that antisemite is not an indictment of the whole town

13

 Sep 01, 2011 at 06:00 PM anonymous23 Says:

Reply to #12  
shredready Says:

REBASHKIN committed fraud get over it he is not an innocent person by any means.

he was arrested found guilty because he committed fraud not because he is a yid

if a yid commits fraud one cannot scream antisemitism when the get caught and prosecuted

frum is not a get out of jail card

and what happened to gal by that antisemite is not an indictment of the whole town

However when other who have committed similar types of fraud, get only 2 or 3 years in prison plus a fine, no one in America ever got a prison sentence of 27 years for similar crimes Rubashkin was found guilty.

14

 Sep 01, 2011 at 06:09 PM Moshe Says:

They have German (“Germ”) names, Typical

15

 Sep 01, 2011 at 06:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Moshe Says:

They have German (“Germ”) names, Typical

What an ridiculously inane comment.

16

 Sep 01, 2011 at 06:53 PM reply to # 6 Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Why does it hate Jews? Because one anti-semite tried to hurt a Jewish businessman, or because they prosecuted a Jewish criminal who deserved it?

You seem like a real criminal trying to hide.
One day the us gov. will have you investigated and you taste the system.

17

 Sep 01, 2011 at 06:42 PM kjbjgirl Says:

Oh how they will judge you on rosh hashana. Always remember. You are judged the way you judge others don't matter if you are right or wrong.

19

 Sep 01, 2011 at 09:10 PM seichil yid Says:

Reply to #17  
kjbjgirl Says:

Oh how they will judge you on rosh hashana. Always remember. You are judged the way you judge others don't matter if you are right or wrong.

What are you saying? Hashem doesn't care if you are innocent or guilty? What's tshuva for?
And a criminal is a criminal . This is a malchus shel chesed.Meanwhile Rubashkin is a convicted criminal.
He was judged and convicted according to a law which we are required to respect.
If you play with fire. You get burned. He got burnt. Get over it. He isn't a lamed vov zaddik.

20

 Sep 01, 2011 at 09:14 PM nonenone Says:

Reply to #14  
Moshe Says:

They have German (“Germ”) names, Typical

I was visiting there 10 years ago and yes the city population are from germans that came after world war 2

21

 Sep 01, 2011 at 09:16 PM curious Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Why does it hate Jews? Because one anti-semite tried to hurt a Jewish businessman, or because they prosecuted a Jewish criminal who deserved it?

You are a self-hater. Noone in their right mind believes smrs sentencing was reasonable. It was unprecedented. He was guilty of things that typically lead to probation with a short stint in the can.

22

 Sep 01, 2011 at 10:44 PM Sherree Says:

Reply to #12  
shredready Says:

REBASHKIN committed fraud get over it he is not an innocent person by any means.

he was arrested found guilty because he committed fraud not because he is a yid

if a yid commits fraud one cannot scream antisemitism when the get caught and prosecuted

frum is not a get out of jail card

and what happened to gal by that antisemite is not an indictment of the whole town

Did you forget we are in Chodesh Elul? We might not know who you are but Hashem does. Enough already! The appeal isn't over yet, so why not wait to see what happens. Get over yourself already.

23

 Sep 01, 2011 at 10:46 PM hmmmm Says:

Reply to #13  
anonymous23 Says:

However when other who have committed similar types of fraud, get only 2 or 3 years in prison plus a fine, no one in America ever got a prison sentence of 27 years for similar crimes Rubashkin was found guilty.

Don't waste time in trying to rationalize with that person you were answering.

24

 Sep 02, 2011 at 01:03 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #23  
hmmmm Says:

Don't waste time in trying to rationalize with that person you were answering.

you are so right, and it thinks it's smarter than everyone else. Learned a while ago just to skip 6-7 comments per story written by it

25

 Sep 02, 2011 at 01:23 AM shtill Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

Why would he do that? I have a better Idea: Why don't you donATE ALL OF your INCOME TO THE REBASHKIN FELONY DEFENSE FUND?

Why don't you get your fat finger off the caps lock?

26

 Sep 02, 2011 at 08:48 AM cool masmid Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Why does it hate Jews? Because one anti-semite tried to hurt a Jewish businessman, or because they prosecuted a Jewish criminal who deserved it?

I hope you are not one of ours, because if you are its the people (for lack of a better word) like you that are the reasons why klal yisroel is suffering in the way it is. And if you are one of ours, anything less then asking mechlia from SMR and his family is going to cost you big at the end of the day.

27

 Sep 02, 2011 at 09:31 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Why does it hate Jews? Because one anti-semite tried to hurt a Jewish businessman, or because they prosecuted a Jewish criminal who deserved it?

I think you are right. Someone made a decision to manipulate the numbers he gave to bank In order to save his business, the livelihood of 100's of workers and his commitments to his vendors and creditors. This action in combination with the governments shutdown of the plant resulted in a loss to the bank. It is not clear if any of these factors as of its own would have let to the loss. Let say the number given the bank were correct and the government shutdown the plant would the loan have gone bad ?

Regardless this action is criminal and deserves 27 years in jail. But if three government officials in the town manipulate the systems in order to destroy a business and someone's livelihood that's OK.

The people that prosecuted Rubashkin are not in any way connected to theses few rotten apples in Postville, they are straight forward people with one agenda to follow the law.

28

 Sep 02, 2011 at 10:34 AM concerned_Jew Says:

What I heard is that Rubashkin had an opportunity to plea bargain if he admitted guilt and he would have received a much less severe sentence. But because so may people in our community sent him money for his legal defense and encourage him to fight it, he did not plea bargain and as a result they came down extra hard on him. I think he should have plea bargained. For the future, maybe we should stay out of these things and let the person make their own decision instead of egging them on to fight. Sometimes, you have to surrender to win. In Rubashkin's case, he would have been much better off working out a deal with the prosecuter and pleading guilty to a lesser crime. He would probably be on probation and free now.

29

 Sep 02, 2011 at 11:06 AM walkinsilence Says:

Reply to #13  
anonymous23 Says:

However when other who have committed similar types of fraud, get only 2 or 3 years in prison plus a fine, no one in America ever got a prison sentence of 27 years for similar crimes Rubashkin was found guilty.

#23. In fact, a year before, a man in CA. got 26 years.

30

 Sep 02, 2011 at 11:46 AM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Why does it hate Jews? Because one anti-semite tried to hurt a Jewish businessman, or because they prosecuted a Jewish criminal who deserved it?

It appears, Mr or Ms. "Anonymous" that you never suffered any discrimination based on anti-Semitism. All of your non-Jewish friends are still smiling in your face. In that case, you are welcome to go down there and do business in that location. I'm waiting to hear your report.

31

 Sep 02, 2011 at 11:50 AM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #28  
concerned_Jew Says:

What I heard is that Rubashkin had an opportunity to plea bargain if he admitted guilt and he would have received a much less severe sentence. But because so may people in our community sent him money for his legal defense and encourage him to fight it, he did not plea bargain and as a result they came down extra hard on him. I think he should have plea bargained. For the future, maybe we should stay out of these things and let the person make their own decision instead of egging them on to fight. Sometimes, you have to surrender to win. In Rubashkin's case, he would have been much better off working out a deal with the prosecuter and pleading guilty to a lesser crime. He would probably be on probation and free now.

You make it all sound so rosy. Your opinions are so "Balanced", but you still speak a "Heimish" form of English.

32

 Sep 02, 2011 at 11:56 AM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #26  
cool masmid Says:

I hope you are not one of ours, because if you are its the people (for lack of a better word) like you that are the reasons why klal yisroel is suffering in the way it is. And if you are one of ours, anything less then asking mechlia from SMR and his family is going to cost you big at the end of the day.

No. Poster # 6 is an upstanding, straight-as-an-arrow citizen whose books and life are squeaky-clean. Criminals deserve to be punished, severely. I only wonder, what if the shoe were on the other foot.

33

 Sep 02, 2011 at 01:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
harryw Says:

Ridiculas comment. Believe me, it dosnt take much effort to go thru your business and activities and put up a 20 count allegation for inappropriate financial activity.

"ridiculas" as it may seem to you, we're not talking about me here. And I can assure you neither I nor anyone I know did fraud on the level of SMR. CAN you get me for tearing the tags off my mattress? SURE! but stealing and lying on SMR's level? not a chance.

He was gulty! get over it.

34

 Sep 02, 2011 at 01:38 PM Anonymous Says:

if Postville is filled with anti-semitic bigots, why did they award this Jew a half-million dollars?

35

 Sep 02, 2011 at 04:06 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #34  
Anonymous Says:

if Postville is filled with anti-semitic bigots, why did they award this Jew a half-million dollars?

They didn't. the federal Gov't did. Through its Court system.

36

 Sep 02, 2011 at 05:07 PM Adam Sway Says:

Reply to #21  
curious Says:

You are a self-hater. Noone in their right mind believes smrs sentencing was reasonable. It was unprecedented. He was guilty of things that typically lead to probation with a short stint in the can.

You would be surprised how many people - Jewish people - would disagree with you. Do not allow your heart to rule your head when discussing matters such as this.

37

 Sep 04, 2011 at 09:31 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #34  
Anonymous Says:

if Postville is filled with anti-semitic bigots, why did they award this Jew a half-million dollars?

Do we need to look to Postville for anti-semitic bigots, seems like we have some here in Brooklyn too. Chodesh Elul, and WE ALL face din v'cheshbon. I am glad Mr. Anti- Rubashkin is all ready to face HIS judge.

38

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