State sues Black-owned dry cleaners

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A lawsuit filed by the Illinois Attorney General’s office alleges that a Black-owned dry cleaner in Chicago has not paid mandatory state fees to operate in the state.

A lawsuit filed by the Illinois Attorney General’s office alleges that a Black-owned dry cleaner in Chicago has not paid mandatory state fees to operate in the state. But Lorenzo Turner, 75, founder and president of Greenview Community Cleaners, 9352 S. Halsted St., said he is being harassed by the state and has held a city business license since 1987. “The state is trying to get some extra money and wants me to pay into a special fund to help pay for environmental costs,” he said. “This is nothing more than pure harassment. The cleaning material I use is petroleum and it is non-hazardous, so why do I need to pay into some state fund for cleanup?’ In 1997, the state established the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund Act to regulate the dry cleaning industry. The fund is comprised of a licensing program, which a spokesman from Madigan’s office said Greenview has not been a part of since its inception. “The dry cleaner licensing fee helps protect citizens in the event toxic solvents should leak from these businesses,” Madigan said in a written statement. She added that the fees dry cleaners pay into the fund ensures that money would be readily available should a chemical leak ever occur. Turner said he has not seen the lawsuit that Madigan said her office recently filed in Cook County Circuit Court. Among the things the suit seeks, according to Madigan, is to temporarily shut down Greenview until it obtains the proper license to operate as a dry cleaner and financial penalties and court costs. ______ Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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