YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The owner and manager of residential rental properties in Youngstown wants a federal fair housing case against him dismissed.
The case against Joseph Pedaline, 71, was filed in September in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. It alleges that Pedaline sexually harassed female tenants at properties that he owned or managed in Youngstown since at least 2009 — a violation of the Fair Housing Act.
The complaint lists four separate allegations against Pedaline which allegedly happened in 2009 or 2010 and in 2018 and 2020.
Pedaline filed a motion Tuesday asking the case to be dismissed because two of the allegations are outside the statute of limitations and the other two allegedly occurred when he did not own YLP, LLC, which is named as a co-defendant and owner of the properties.
Pedaline says that the allegations from 2018 and 2020 were when the properties were owned by YLP, LLC and that he did not have any “authority over ownership of the company,” the motion stated. The motion said that while he may have been “exposed as the owner,” in the first two allegations in 2009/2010, he had no authority or ownership during the 2018 and 2020 allegations.
“He was not in a position to discriminate, refuse or even interfere with anyone’s rental because he did not own or manage YLP, LLC,” the motion stated.
The motion further stated that claims under the Fair Housing Act are subject to a two-year statute of limitations and since he did not own the properties in 2018 or 2020, he would only be subject to a claim for the 2009-2010 allegations, which are outside the statute of limitations.
According to the complaint, Pedaline subjected tenants to repeated and unwelcome sexual comments and advances, entered their homes without permission and offered to overlook late rent payments, waive rent or perform repairs in exchange for sexual contact. The lawsuit also alleges that Pedaline initiated evictions or threatened to evict tenants who refused his sexual advances.
The properties that Pedaline owned and/or managed are on Lora Avenue, Ohio Avenue and Fairgreen Avenue in Youngstown, according to the complaint.