Kane In Your Corner: Maple Garden Apartments owners cited for refusing to rent to Muslim tenants

William Greda (pictured) and his wife Othilia were cited by the New Jersey attorney general for allegedly refusing to rent apartments to Muslims at the Maple Garden Apartments complex that they own.

William Greda (pictured) and his wife Othilia were cited by the New Jersey attorney general for allegedly refusing to rent apartments to Muslims at the Maple Garden Apartments complex that they own. (10/18/16)

ELIZABETH - Did the owners of an Elizabeth apartment complex refuse to rent to prospective tenants who are Muslim? The New Jersey attorney general thinks so and is filing a five-count discrimination complaint against William and Othilia Greda, owners of the Maple Garden Apartments, and an LLC they operate.

Fatma Farghaly contacted News 12 New Jersey in February after she says she answered a Craigslist ad for an apartment at the Maple Garden. She says after meeting with landlord William Greda, she was denied the opportunity to rent because she was wearing a Muslim head covering known as a khimar. She says Greda told her, “I don’t rent to Muslims.”

“I was shocked, like straight up, totally shocked,” Farghaly tells Kane In Your Corner. She pulled out her cellphone and recorded video as she confronted Greda, but the video is inconclusive. Farghaly can be heard, repeatedly asking “You don’t want to rent to me because I’m Muslim?” but Greda does not answer the question directly.

But New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino is convinced Greda engaged in discrimination at Maple Garden. The attorney general’s office sent in undercover investigators, and found they received disparate treatment based on whether they wore khimars. 

The attorney general is now filing a five-count discrimination complaint against the Gredas and Maple Garden, LLC, an entity to which the attorney general says the Gredas transferred ownership of the apartments for $1 while the investigation was in process.

“People shouldn’t have to hide their religion or disguise their faith to be able to live where they choose to live,” Porrino says. “This really strikes at somebody’s most fundamental right.”

William Greda denied the allegations, blaming the complaint on “Muslims extorting money from businesses.” Greda told a Kane In Your Corner producer that he considered himself the victim of a conspiracy, which he accused the attorney general’s office of being part of. 

In an interview with News 12 New Jersey’s Walt Kane, Greda used even more inflammatory language. “They’re Muslin extremists,” he said. “That’s what they are. ISIS. They came in for an apartment and they attacked me.”

The attorney general seemed taken aback when informed of Greda’s comments. “I’m not sure how to respond to that,” Porrino said, “except that he should let the judge know whatever his defense is going to be and the court will decide whether it has merit or not.”

The state is seeking damages on behalf of Fatma Farghaly, as well as punitive damages, civil penalties and attorney fees. The attorney general also wants training and monitoring at Maple Garden apartments in the future.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

First Ramapo town board meeting held since supervisor's 1 VIDEO: First Ramapo town board meeting held since supervisor's arrest
Island Park School District closed today as flooding 2 Island Park SD closed due to flooding
VIDEO: Surveillance footage of gas station robberies 3 VIDEO: Surveillance footage of gas station robberies
Mahwah police partner with Ramapo College to combat 4 College program to combat drinking after assault
New Jersey Transit issued an alert Sunday advising 5 NJ Transit issues alert to expect delays to, from NY Penn Station

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

It's good to know you have Walt Kane Kane in Your Corner

It's good to know you have Walt Kane in your corner.

News 12 takes a look at the hottest Tech Check

Eric Landskroner has a look at the latest gadgets and biggest stories in tech.

News 12 On the Scene

Check out these exclusive videos from New Jersey celebs!

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE