West Village Cooperative Accused of Racial Bias

Pacifica producer, Beth Israel MD sue, claiming housing discrimination

NEW YORK CITY - A Federal law suit filed in the Southern District of New York claims that an internationally-renowned news producer and an international medical educator and physician were the subject of racial discrimination by a tony West Side cooperative, resulting in the rejection last year by the coop's board of the pair and their infant daughter.

Pacifica producer Errol Maitland, who is well known to listeners of the network's NYC flagship station WBAI, is one of the Plaintiffs in the action, according to court papers.

A reliable source claims that the coop has already offered a significant amount of money to dispose of the case, but wants to keep the matter confidential. Those close to the lifelong anti-racism activist say that this was unlikely to be acceptable.

Maitland's wife, Dr. Maxine Orris, is an attending physician in Internal Medicine at the Long Island College Hospital and runs a community-based clinical practice in Brooklyn, NY. She trained first as a doctor in Havana, Cuba where she graduated from the Calixto Garcia Hospital Medical School and completed a residency in Internal Medicine and Tropical Medicine. The couple recently adopted a young girl, Alicia, while working in Guatemala.

According to the complaint filed with the Court, Maitland and Orris sought to purchase apartment 15U in the John Adam cooperative at 101 West 12th Street last year, in order to be in the same building as Orris' father, noted physician and human rights activist Leo Orris. Despite the fact that the elder Orris is a long-time resident of the cooperative, the application of Maitland and Orris was rejected last June. The family, including Mr. Orris, filed suit in November; they are being represented by Richard F. Bellman, Esq., of the Anti-Discrimination Center of Metro New York, Inc.

The suit seeks to compel the board to approve the purchase, and seeks damages for various alleged violations of Federal and state law.