Third discrimination hearing cancelled after Grandview Golf Course petitions for stay

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch

A third Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission hearing regarding an April 21 incident where five African-American women were asked to leave Grandview Golf Course has been canceled because of legal action taken by the golf course.

The altercation made national headlines after former York County Commissioner Steve Chronister — father of Jordan Chronister, the Dover Township golf course's co-owner — twice called the police on the group of women, alleging they were playing slowly and refusing to leave.

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The matter caught the attention of the PHRC, which investigates employment discrimination and other complaints on behalf of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The commission held two hearings on the matter last month, but the Chronisters weren't present.

From left, Sandra Thompson, Carolyn Dow and Sandra Harrison listen as Myneca Ojo, right, give testimony during the second Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission hearing at York City Council Chambers Friday, June 22, 2018. The hearing was in response to allegations that the four and another member of the Sisters in the Fairway were racially harassed during an incident at Grandview Golf Club in April. Bill Kalina photo

A third hearing was being scheduled for Friday, July 20, and subpoenas were issued to at least three individuals shown confronting the women in a video taken by golfer and York NAACP President Sandra Thompson.

Two of the individuals were Steve Chronister and his son, said PHRC Executive Director Chad Dion Lassiter.

The subpoenas would have legally compelled those involved in the incident to attend the hearing and testify, but now they will most likely no longer be a factor.

On Thursday, July 19, Lassiter announced that the hearing would be canceled "because of the other side."

"We wanted to give (the Chronisters) an opportunity to speak, but at the last minute we pulled out because of the other side," he said. "That's all I'm at liberty to say."

The roadblock Lassiter declined to mention was a petition for a stay to the Commonwealth Court from Brew Vino LLC and Grandview Golf Club, according to docket sheets on the court's website.

A stay halts further legal process in a trial or other legal proceeding, said Stacey Witalec, spokeswomen for the court.

"The purpose of a stay is just to put a pause to everything, but it needs to be granted," she said. "The stay hasn't yet been issued, as it's pending a ruling."

If approved, a stay would put any further PHRC hearings on pause indefinitely.

Commonwealth Judge Patricia A. McCullough will decide whether to grant the stay.

Regardless of the results, the PHRC is "leaning toward supplying both parties with recommendations" rather than trying to reschedule the third hearing, Lassiter said.