Judge dismisses lawsuit in Little League retribution case

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a Connecticut father who said a baseball Little League demoted his 9-year-old son to a lower-level team because of the father's plans to build affordable housing next to a former league official's home.

U.S. District Judge Victor Bolden in Bridgeport threw out the lawsuit Monday, saying Christopher Stefanoni didn't prove any allegations in the lawsuit he filed in 2013 against the Darien Little League and its officials. Lawyers for the league called the lawsuit ''baseless.''

Stefanoni said his son was demoted in 2010, just days after he filed an affordable housing application for property next to the home of a former league official.

The league's lawyers said an error was made in placing the boy on a higher-level team and the mistake was corrected by moving him to a lower-level team.

Stefanoni said Tuesday that he planned to appeal the ruling. He said it was difficult to prove such a case when ''the court demands proof of the secrets and whispers of rich white people behind closed doors.''

He claimed the alleged retaliation was part of a larger concern by Darien residents that affordable housing would draw black people to the wealthy and mostly white town, a New York City suburb depicted in the 1947 Oscar-winning movie ''Gentleman's Agreement'' starring Gregory Peck where residents conspired not to sell their homes to Jews.

Another developer, Christopher Hamer, is suing Darien officials, claiming they rejected his affordable housing application in an effort to keep minorities out of town.

Town officials deny Hamer's allegations.

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