JANESVILLE — A pair of Janesville landlords who terminated rental agreements at many of their Janesville properties have agreed to a $500,000 settlement and more than $100,000 in fines in a separate federal sexual harrassment case.

Richard and Mary Donahue issued 28-day notices last week terminating rental agreements at many of its 93 residential rental properties in Janesville, according to public documents.

The move comes after the city of Janesville’s Housing Services Division issued 46 enforcement citations to the couple regarding alleged violations concerning some of these rental properties, according to a news release from the city of Janesville.

Tenants affected should begin by contacting City Housing Services at (608) 755-3065. 

A tenants only meeting with City of Janesville Public Housing, Janesville Boys and Girls Club and ECHO Food Pantry is planned for Friday, Feb. 16, 2024. Call the city if you need to attend.

The Justice Department announced Friday that Richard and Mary Donahue have agreed to pay $500,000 in monetary damages and a $123,965 civil penalty to the government to resolve a Fair Housing Act lawsuit concerning Richard Donahue’s sexual harassment of female tenants over more than 20 years.

Under the terms of the proposed consent decree, which still must be approved by the court, Richard and Mary Donahue will pay $500,000 in monetary damages to 13 female tenants harmed by Richard Donahue, according to the Justice Department.

The defendants are also permanently enjoined from managing residential rental properties in the future and must retain an independent property manager to manage their rental properties for the duration of the decree.

The lawsuit alleged that, since at least 2000, Richard Donahue harassed female tenants by making repeated and unwelcome sexual comments, touching tenants’ bodies without their consent, demanding sexual activity in exchange for rent and housing-related benefits and taking adverse actions against tenants who resisted his sexual advances or complained about the harassment. The suit was filed in May 2022.