Town of Vestal pays for broken laws

By Megan Carpenter

Town of Vestal pays for broken laws

December 12, 2013 Updated Dec 12, 2013 at 12:41 AM EDT

A federal jury said the Town of Vestal has violated at least two Civil Rights laws and now could pay almost $5,000 in damages.

The legal battle has been raging between Vestal and Candlehouse Teen Challenge. Teen Challenge is a nonprofit organization geared toward helping young people overcome addiction. The branch in Vestal specifically caters to young women in their twenties, thirties, and even forties.

Since they won the case, they'll be able to use their location at 401 Mirador Dr. to house up to 17 women who are going through the 18 month program.

"The fair housing act of 1988 and the Americans Disabilities Act, our students were determined by the jury to be protected under those two laws," said Candlehouse President Rich Mecklenborg.

Vestal's Town Supervisor John Schaffer said the town will not be appealing the case.

"We all have to get along and be all good neighbors with each other and welcome them here just like anybody else," John Schaffer said.

The Town of Vestal could also be paying for Candlehouse's legal fees, which add up to more than $300,000. That request was made by the nonprofit just last week. A decision has yet to be handed down.