A longtime Morgantown property manager has agreed to pay $600,000 and transfer ownership of more than 70 rental properties to resolve sexual harassment allegations.
Gary Walden violated the Fair Housing Act when he sexually harassed female and prospective tenants while serving as the property manager, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
In response to these allegations, Walden will pay $600,000 in monetary damages and relinquish his role in managing more than 70 properties, officials said. Walden will pay $500,000 to persons harmed by the discriminatory conduct and $100,000 to the United States in civil penalties as the result of a lawsuit filed in March 2016 by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Walden pleaded guilty to sex charges in April 2015 in Monongalia County and served nearly two years in a state prison.
"It is unacceptable that a woman should have to endure sexual harrassment by her landlord in her own home," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division." This settlement sends a strong message that the Civil Rights Division will aggressively pursue those who engage in this egregious conduct."
Anyone who may have been subjected to sexual harrassment by Walden should contact the Justice Department at 1-800-896-7743 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.