August 31, 2004
An attorney representing Carefree, its mayor, Ed Morgan, Vice Mayor Mike Eicher and Councilmen Bob Coady and Wayne Fulcher filed a response to a local developer’s discrimination lawsuit.
Brad Woodford of the Phoenix law firm Moyes Storey filed an answer Friday to a suit brought July 12 by F.G. "Bud" Budnick of Tempo West of Cave Creek. The action was over the denial last fall of Budnick’s proposed Residence at Carefree housing development. The facility was projected for a 40-acre plot northeast of Tranquil Trail and Cave Creek Road.
Highlights of the response are Carefree contending that Budnick only wanted monetary damages and that, before the Town Council vote, he never characterized the proposed development as one for disabled residents, outlining it as a project for fit and nondisabled senior citizens.
Philip Austin of Mesa, one of Budnick’s attorneys, characterized the response as "typical" and "no surprise."
"Their viewpoint is they don’t believe they did anything wrong," Austin said. "We believe they did."
Morgan said he and Woodford met on Wednesday with representatives of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
"We had a fair opportunity to explain our position," Morgan said. "We just have to see what the AG’s office does. I’m expecting them to throw it out, frankly. That will bode well for us in federal court."
No hearing date has been set.
After Budnick’s proposal failed, he filed suit in U.S. District Court, citing the Americans With Disabilities Act. On June 17, he filed a Federal Fair Housing Act complaint with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office alleging housing discrimination against senior citizens with disabilities.