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State panel seeks testimony from Grandview, adds hearing

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M. Joel Bolstein, chairperson of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, (center) probes witnesses alongside fellow commissioners during a June 19 investigatory hearing held at the York City Council Chambers.
M. Joel Bolstein, chairperson of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, (center) probes witnesses alongside fellow commissioners during a June 19 investigatory hearing held at the York City Council Chambers. - (Photo / )

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission is returning to York County to continue its probe into an alleged act of discrimination at Grandview Golf Club.

The hearing will take place at the York City Council Chambers on Friday, July 20 at 9:30 a.m.

The state agency previously held hearings on June 19 and 20 where it heard testimony under oath from five women who allege that they were targeted because of their race and gender at the Dover Township golf course. 

Because Grandview chose not to participate in the June hearings, commissioners decided that additional testimony is needed, said M. Joel Bolstein, chairperson of the state panel.  

"We hope to receive additional information to conclude this investigation," he said.

On April 21, management at Grandview called the police twice on the women, identified as Sandra Thompson, 50, Myneca Ojo, 56; Karen Crosby, 58; and sisters Sandra Harrison, 59, and Carolyn Dow, 56, and asked them to leave. Prior to the 911 calls, management told the women they were playing golf too slowly.

Commissioners also heard testimony from Jerry Higgins, a golfer on the course who was playing behind the women. He indicated that the women maintained a normal pace. Since the hearing, Higgins has decided not to play at the course any more.

The panel also received additional testimony from two police officers and from an expert on implicit bias and racism. Members also viewed video footage provided by Thompson and Ojo.

Although representatives from Grandview did not testify at the June hearings, former York County commissioner Steve Chronister, whose son Jordan is a co-owner of the golf course, was heard on 911 tapes played during the hearings. Chronister and his son, Jordan, and other partners purchased the golf club last year.

Grandview also stated in a letter, from York-based Benn Law Firm and addressed to Chad Lassiter, executive director of the commission, that it declined to participate. The letter stated that the calls to police during the April 21 incident were not motivated by race or gender.

Subpoenas for testimony from additional witnesses have been issued, and according to Kathy W. Morrison, chief counsel for the commission, no additional information will be publicly available regarding the plan for the hearing or witnesses.

Grandview declined to comment on the news of the additional hearing.

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Emily Thurlow

Emily Thurlow

​Emily Thurlow covers York County​ for the Central Penn Business Journal. Have a tip? Drop her a line at ethurlow@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter @localloislane.

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