Housing gripe against Frick dismissed By WAYNE LAUGESEN Staff Writer A fair-housing complaint that Ben Frick said helped cost him election to the Saline County Commission last year has been thrown out by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. "This is a tremendous relief to me," said Frick, 120 Overhill. "Now people will know I had nothing to do with the allegations that were levied against me just days before the election. "No allegations against me have been true. I was accused of filing bankruptcy and I've never filed bankruptcy. I was accused of being a mean landlord, and I am not a mean landlord." Ronella Dorenkamp, a former tenant at Frick's Flamingo Motel, 500 E. Pacific, complained in a letter to HUD that Frick gave her an oral 30-day notice to move. According to the complaint, the notice was given after Dorenkamp refused to sign a petition being circulated by Frick. Dorenkamp, who said she has back problems, also accused Frick of discriminating against the physically disabled. "That really made no sense," said Frick's wife, Frick LaVelle Frick, 120 Overhill. "I don't know of any family more handicapped than us. My daughter is paralyzed from the neck down and I have cancer." LaVelle Frick also was named in the complaint to HUD. The petition the complaint referred to was an ouster petition against County Commission Chairman Dennis Carlson. The petition was sponsored by Bill Nelson, president of the Salina Rental Property Providers Association. Frick said he did not ask Dorenkamp to sign it. In a letter to Ben Frick dated Feb. 20, Floyd May, director of fair housing for the HUD regional office at Kansas City, Kan., said nothing could be done with the complaint because Dorenkamp, 1440 Pawnee, refused to cooperate with HUD. "There was no investigation," said Dean Richards, spokesman for HUD in Kansas City. "The complainant (Dorenkamp) didn't respond with information and if we don't have information we can't do anything." Richards said HUD made repeated attempts to get information from Dorenkamp that might substantiate her accusations. Richards said HUD sent a certified letter to Dorenkamp Jan. 28 requesting information. HUD followed up with a phone call to Dorenkamp Feb. 5 and then gave up. "We sent every information they asked for," Dorenkamp said. "The one guy (HUD investigator) who interviewed me said he was going to tell Ben Frick I had no leg to stand on. "So I called HUD and they said they'd take that guy off the case but they never did." Dorenkamp said a lack of information is not the real reason HUD dropped her complaint. "I guess because I didn't get along with them (HUD officials)," she said. "But Ben Frick did not win this. He better not try to stand on that leg." Dorenkamp went public with her complaint against Frick on KINA Radio about a week before the November election. At the time, LaVelle Frick said Dorenkamp had held a grudge against the Fricks, because in 1988 the Salina-Saline County Health Department cracked down on a dog kennel owned by Dorenkamp. The kennel was in violation of animal health regulations and was in a building Dorenkamp rented from the Fricks. LaVelle Frick said Dorenkamp was angry with the Fricks because she suspected that LaVelle Frick turned her in to the health department. She said Dorenkamp might also have held a grudge because the Fricks won a lawsuit that ordered Dorenkamp to pay for damage done to the building where she ran the kennel.