Judge: Lawyers can drop Dakota discrimination case

Alphonse Fletcher Jr. and the Dakota
Alphonse Fletcher Jr. and the Dakota

A New York state judge has allowed the lawyers representing hedge fund manager Alphonse Fletcher Jr. to officially withdraw his lawsuit against the Dakota co-op board, the Wall Street Journal reported.In late October, the law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman asked the court to drop Fletcher’s discrimination case, citing non-payment.

State Supreme Court Justice Eileen Rakower has given Fletcher a delay until December 20 to hire a new lawyer. She also ordered him to provide overdue discovery documents by January 7.

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; however, the co-op board argued that Fletcher’s finances were not in order.

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A claim that may be substantial since one of Fletcher’s major funds, Fletcher International, filed for bankruptcy protection at the end of June 2012, and a court-appointed trustee has taken over control of the fund.  [WSJ] –Christopher Cameron