Black Developer Accuses Fresno Mayor and City Officials of Racial Discrimination Toward His Businesses
According to The Fresno Bee, Terance Frazier, a developer based in Fresno, stated that Mayor Jerry Dyer and city officials intentionally discouraged several organizations from doing business with him. He stated that these actions fit into a pattern of racial discrimination he has routinely faced in the city.
Frazier filed an amended complaint in federal court against Fresno. On Feb. 7, a federal judge allowed Frazier and his attorneys to amend the original complaint to include specific instances of violations of state law, in addition to federal.
He alleged that he and the sports foundation he runs, Central Valley Community Sports Foundation, has lost more than $11 million due to the discriminatory practices that he has encountered from the city of Fresno.
Defendants named in the lawsuit include former Mayor, Lee Brand; current mayor, Jerry Dyer, former city manager, Wilma Quan; former city manager, Tom Esqueda; current city manager, Georgeanne White; former assistant city manager, James Schaad; former chief of staff, Tim Orman; and councilmembers Garry Bredefeld and Mike Karbassi.
The developer is suing for financial damages, alleging retaliation, breach of contract, discriminatory business dealings, and discriminatory denial of contract and equal protection rights.
Frazier stated that city officials, in the past and currently, have repeatedly treated him unfairly because of his race, and added that he is being treated this way due to him being a frequent critic of their actions.
“No other developer, and certainly not one of another race who has declined to exercise his protected First Amendment rights to criticize and petition for redress, has been treated similarly,” according to the lawsuit filed in court. “No other developer has been publicly undermined and had issues pertaining to him referred for federal and local investigations, much less publicly.”