Lawyers withdraw from Dakota race bias suit amid hedge funder’s financial woes

October 29, 2012 09:30AM

Hedge-fund manager Alphonse Fletcher Jr.’s race discrimination lawsuit against the Dakota has hit a major setback that could put the case on ice, according to the Wall Street Journal. The law firm Fletcher hired to represent him, Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman, has asked the court to withdraw the case, due to “non-payment of very substantial legal fees.”

Fletcher sued the historic Central Park West building after the co-op board rejected his attempt to purchase the apartment neighboring his own in 2010. He claimed that the board discriminated against him because he is African-American. The co-op board fired back that his bid contained “red flags,” suggesting he could not afford the unit.

Since then, one of Fletcher’s major funds, Fletcher International, filed for bankruptcy protection at the end of June, and a court-appointed trustee has taken over control of the fund.

Kasowitz Benson is the fifth-largest creditor of Fletcher International, with a claim of $293,517, according to court documents cited by the Journal. [WSJ]Christopher Cameron