Though [Jack Kemp] and [William L. Hawkins Jr.] say these measures are needed to fight drugs, the president of the state's chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union calls them clear violations of constitutional rights. John Levy, a College of William and Mary law professor, said Kemp's offer to streamline the eviction process is taking rights of appeal away from public housing residents and is also punishing innocent people.
Kemp's decision to eliminate the appeal to the panel only applies to Virginia, a HUD spokesman emphasized Wednesday. It followed several days of publicity after a man who allegedly had gone to an Alexandria housing complex to buy drugs ended up killing one policeman and wounding another before dying during a gun battle.
Frank Lofurno, deputy director of the Hampton Redevelopment and Housing Authority, said police already help identify drug users and dealers for evictions. He said Kemp's offer to relax eviction procedures could improve on this effort.