Town of Addison Denies Discrimination Claims

Published 04/01 2014 10:15PM

Updated 04/01 2014 10:34PM

ADDISON, Vt. - The Town of Addison, Vermont is fighting back against accusations of discrimination.

In March, a lesbian couple sued after they said they were treated unfairly and illegally by the town and its selectboard chair.

In a lawsuit, Barbara Ernst and Barbara Supeno accused the Town of Addison and its selectboard chair Jeff Kauffman of discrimination.

In Addison Tuesday, Kauffman led a selectboard meeting and did not want to comment about the lawsuit. It claims the women were targeted because they are lesbians.

In March, the couple's attorney David Bond filed a lawsuit against Kauffman and the town. The women say they faced unfair zoning decisions, bogus citations, and a big increase in their property taxes.

Previously, Kauffman told us the town treats everyone fairly.

Now, we've received a formal response to the suit.

In it, Kauffman and the town's attorney over and over denied the allegations.

They asked for the case to be moved to U.S. Federal Court because the couple has argued their First Amendment Rights were violated.

While the attorney for the defendants Bill Ellis did not want appear on camera he told us, "after all the evidence is presented to the court, we are confident the town and Mr. Kauffman will be exonerated."

No hearing date in federal court has been set.

The attorney for the couple says they haven't decided yet if they will try move the case back to a state court.

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