The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

August 22, 2012

Judge: Pennsylvania city discriminated against methadone clinic

JOHNSTOWN — A federal judge says a western Pennsylvania city violated the rights of a company that wanted to put a methadone clinic in its downtown area.

U.S. District Judge Kim Gibson found the City of Dubois should pay RHJ Medical Center $132,000.

The city opposed the clinic saying a walking trail within 50 feet of the planned clinic constituted a "park" and zoning rules prohibited such clinics within 500 feet of public parks. After a federal appeals court ruled that zoning was unconstitutional, the city passed an ordinance banning only methadone clinics and other drug-treatment facilities from downtown.

The judge says that was illegal and has ordered the city to repay RHJ for money it spent setting up the clinic which never opened.

The city says insurance will cover the damages.

 

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