AP NEWS

ACLU settles suit over grants for domestic violence programs

March 14, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union has settled a federal lawsuit against the city of Woonsocket over the withholding of grants from a nonprofit that helps domestic violence victims.

The ACLU’s Rhode Island chapter said Thursday that under a consent order, Woonsocket agreed to withdraw its suspension of Sojourner House from participating in the city’s grant program and pay $35,000 in grant funds that were awarded but withheld.

The city didn’t acknowledge liability. A message for comment was left with city attorneys.

The ACLU says the funding was withheld based on “inaccurate and irrelevant claims,” including property code violations Sojourner House worked to correct, and the nonprofit couldn’t formally challenge it.

The ACLU says Woonsocket indefinitely suspended Sojourner House from the grant programs in retaliation for it asking other government agencies to intervene.