130 West North Street
Lima, Ohio 45801-4311
Phone: (419) 228-1836
Fax: (419) 228-3891
 

Title VI Procedure and Complaint Form

Lima Allen County Regional Planning Commission (LACRPC)

April 2012

Nondiscrimination Complaint Procedures for

Programs or Activities of the LACRPC

These procedures cover all external complaints regarding Lima-Allen County Regional Planning Commission (LACRPC) programs and activities filed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as contained in 49 CFR 21, “Nondiscrimination in the Federally-Assisted Programs of the Department of Transportation.” Title VI says that “[n]o person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

These procedures, required per 23 CFR 200.9 (b)(3), also cover external complaints regarding LACRPC programs or activities filed under other related nondiscrimination laws that additionally prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability, sex, age and/or or low income. This includes, but is not limited to, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 23 USC 324, 42 USC 610, Executive Order 13166, and the DOT Order on Environmental Justice and Executive Order 12898. These procedures are for any external discrimination complaints relating to any program or activity administered by LACRPC.

49 CFR 21 outlines types of prohibited discriminatory actions per that law. It follows, in part:

(1)  A recipient to which this part applies may not, directly or through contractual or other arrangements, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin:

       (i)  Deny a person any service, financial aid, or other benefit provided under the program.

      (ii)   Provide any service, financial aid, or other benefit to a person which is different, or is provided in a different manner, from that provided to others under the program.

     (iii)   Subject a person to segregation or separate treatment in any matter related to his receipt of any service, financial aid, or other benefit under the program.

     (iv)    Restrict a person in any way in the enjoyment of any advantage or privilege enjoyed by others receiving any service, financial aid, or other benefit under the program.

      (v)   Treat a person differently from others in determining whether he satisfies any admission, enrollment, quota eligibility, membership, or other requirement or condition which persons must meet in order to be provided any service, financial aid, or other benefit provided under the program.

    (vi)     Deny a person an opportunity to participate in the program through the provision of services or otherwise afford him/her an opportunity to do so which is different from that afforded others under the program; or

   (vii)     Deny a person the opportunity to participate as a member of a planning, advisory, or similar body which is an integral part of the program.

The law prohibits intimidation or retaliation of any kind.  The procedures do not deny the right of the complainant to the formal complaints with other federal, state, or local agencies or to seek private counsel for complaints alleging discrimination.  Evert effort will be made to obtain early resolution of complaints.

Procedure

1.    Any individual, group of individuals, or entity that believes they have been subjected to discrimination prohibited by Title VI nondiscrimination provisions may file a written complaint with the LACRPC, Administrative Affairs Committee.  A formal complaint must be files within 180 calendar days of the alleged occurrence.

2.    Upon receipt of the complaint, the LACRPC, Administrative Affairs Committee, will determine LACRPC's jurisdiction, acceptability of the complaint, and need for additional information.  LACRPC will also acknowledge receipt of the complaint by notifying the complainant.

3.    The LACRPC Administrative Affairs Committee will assign or designate a staff person from the area affected by the complaint to investigate the merit of the complaint.

4.    The complaint will receive a case number and will be logged in the LACRPC records identifying the basis of the complaint and the race, color, national origin, and gender of the complainant.  The assigned staff will start the investigation.

5.    Within 50 calendar days of the receipt of the complaint, LACRPC's investigator will prepare an investigative report.  The report shall include a narrative description of the incident, identification of persons interviewed, findings, and recommendations for disposition.  LACRP will also include signed affidavits from all parties - complainant, accused, and witnesses - as applicable.  Any reports or documents gathered during the investigation will also be included.

6.    The investigative report and its findings shall be sent to LACRPC's legal counsel for review.  Counsel will review the report and associated documentation and will provide input within 10 calendar days.

7.     LACRPC's investigator will review any comments or recommendations from LACRPC's legal counsel.  The investigator will discuss the report and recommendations with the Administrative Affairs Committee.  The report will be modified as needed and made final for its release.

8.     Once LACRPC's investigative report becomes final, the parties will be properly notified of the resolution of the complaint, including recommendations to remedy any discriminatory practice - if such practice is identified, and appeal rights. 

9.     LACRPC's investigative report and a copy of the complaint will be forwarded to the appropriate oversight agency (for example, the Ohio Department of Transportation), providing the federally funded assistance, within 70 calendar days of the receipt of the complaint.

10.    If the complainant is not satisfied with the results of the investigation, he/she shall be advised of their right to appeal.  The first appeal will go to the LACRPC Executive Committee for review.  The LACRPC Board of Trustees is the final review process within LACRPC.  Appeals of decision by the LACRPC Executive Committee to the LACRPC Board of Trustees must be filed within 30 days of notification (per step 8) of a decision on the complaint.  The LACRPC Board of Trustees will make a decision on the complaint and notify the complainant of such within 120 days.  Appeals outside LACRPC must be filed within 180 days after LACRPC's final resolution.  Absent new facts, LACRPC will not reconsider its determination.  If the complainant remains unsatisfied, LACRPC's determination can be appealed to the State of Ohio, Division of Equal Opportunity (DoEO).

11.  Once a Title VI complaint is received, the Division of Equal Opportunity will initiate an investigation.  A letter acknowledging receipt of the complaint will be sent to the complainant and to the Ohio Division of FHWA.  A letter regarding the complaint will be sent to the complainant upon completion of the investigation.  A copy of the complaint and investigatory report will be forwarded to the Ohio Division of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with subsequent Title VI plans.  FHWA is responsible for making the final determination regarding Title VI complaints. 

12.   If it is determined, following the investigation, or following any appeals, that LACRPC acted in a discriminatory manner LACRPC will take whatever action is needed, per the recommendations, in the investigative report, to remedy the discriminatory practice. 

For more information regarding the LACRPC complaint process of filing complaints, please contact:

Thomas M. Mazur, Executive Director

Lima-Allen County Regional Planning Commission

419-228-1836 - telephone

419-228-3891 - facsimile

tmazur@lacrpc.com - email