State agency to hold hearing on Grandview Golf Course discrimination complaint
The state Human Relations Commission will investigate five black women's claims of discrimination at a York County golf course last month.
The agency announced Thursday, May 24, that a hearing "related to the ongoing issues of racial tension" stemming from the incident at Grandview Golf Course in Dover Township will be held in York County.
The date and location of the hearing has not been announced, the Human Relations Commission stated in a news release.
Commission Executive Director Chad Dion Lassiter pointed to a statute in the state's Human Relations Act, which gives the commission authority for hearings related to racial problems.
"The purpose of the hearing shall be to resolve the problem promptly," the statute reads.
According to the statute, the hearing involves gathering facts from "all the interested parties" and making necessary recommendations which, if not accepted within a reasonable time, may warrant a complaint from the commission.
The incident: The five black women, including York County's NAACP chapter president Sandra Thompson, alleged racial and gender discrimination after they were confronted April 21 by Grandview Golf Course management for allegedly playing too slowly.
The group had started about an hour after their scheduled tee time because of a frost delay, and Thompson said it seemed as though owner — and former county commissioner — Steve Chronister was trying to blame them for the club's backlog when he asked them to leave.
They were the only black female group on the course at the time.
Three members of the group left after nine holes because of the "wrongful treatment," according to a Facebook post by Thompson, but the two remaining were confronted a second time.
Part of the exchange was captured on video, in which Jordan Chronister, Steve Chronister's son and co-owner of the club, can be heard telling the women to remove themselves from the premises.
Police were called to the course twice that day to address the issue but did not interact with the women until the second time, Northern York County Regional Police Chief Mark Bentzel said.
Grandview apologized for the incident in a Facebook post Sunday, April 22, and co-owner JJ Chronister also reached out to the women to apologize.
"Please know that we are taking this issue very seriously," the post reads.
According to the club's scorecard rules, 18-hole rounds must be completed in four hours and 15 minutes, and the group also took an extended break after the ninth hole, JJ Chronister told The York Dispatch.
But Thompson noted in her Facebook post that they finished the front nine in about two hours, and the group behind them also took an extended break after the ninth hole.
State Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia and Montgomery counties, sent a letter to the interim chairman of the state Human Relations Commission requesting an investigation of the incident.