Connecticut Commission Extends Probe of Bias Against Jewish Home Buyers

An official of the Connecticut Civil Rights Commission indicated today the commission intended to call the president and several members of the Greenwich Real Estate board in its investigation of charges of bias against Jewish home buyers.

The investigation was touched off by the disclosure that Mrs. Olive Braden, head of a Greenwich real estate firm, had prepared a secret memo to her staff, giving detailed instructions on methods of screening out prospective Jewish buyers of homes. Mrs. Brader did not deny, at the initial hearing held by the commission three weeks ago, that she wrote the memo but she did deny circulating it to staff member. She told the commission that she took the action in desperation after being criticized by fellow members of the real estate board for selling a home to a Jewish client.

Irwin E. Friedman, chairman of the commission’s enforcement division, said that the hearing, which is scheduled to be resumed October 9, will be extended in scope. He said the commission planned to subpoena John Kirwan, president of the Greenwich Seal Estate Board and several members of the board. He also said that other towns would be checked in the commission’s probe of real estate practices. Confirming that another investigation was being made in “a large Connecticut city,” he declined to name it.

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