Ohio landlord fights 'White Only' pool sign ruling

CINCINNATI (AP) - A landlord found to have discriminated against
a black girl by posting a "White Only" sign at a swimming pool
wants a state civil rights commission to reconsider its decision.

The Ohio Civil Rights Commission found on Sept. 29 that Jamie
Hein, who's white, violated the Ohio Civil Rights Act by posting
the sign at a pool at the duplex where the teenage girl was
visiting her parents. The parents filed a discrimination charge
with the commission and moved out of the duplex in the racially
diverse city to "avoid subjecting their family to further
humiliating treatment," the commission said in a release
announcing its finding.

An investigation revealed that Hein in May posted on the gated
entrance to the pool an iron sign that stated "Public Swimming
Pool, White Only," the commission statement said.

Several witnesses confirmed that the sign was posted, and the
landlord indicated that she posted it because the girl used in her
hair chemicals that would make the pool "cloudy," according to
the commission.

Hein, of Cincinnati, hung up when The Associated Press called
her for comment Tuesday. A message was left at her lawyer's office.

The commission's statement said that its investigation concluded
that the posting of such a sign "restricts the social interaction
between Caucasians and African-Americans and reinforces
discriminatory actions aimed at oppressing people of color."

Commissioners were scheduled to hear Hein's request for
reconsideration at a meeting Thursday in Columbus, commission
spokeswoman Brandi Martin said.

If the commissioners uphold their original finding, the case
would be referred to the Ohio attorney general's office, which
would represent the commission's findings before an administrative
law judge, Martin said.

Penalties in the case could include a cease-and-desist order and
even punitive damages, but the administrative law judge would
determine any penalties, Martin said.

It still would be possible for the parties to reach a settlement
before resorting to legal action, she said.

Any decision by the administrative judge could be appealed to
Hamilton County Common Pleas Court in Cincinnati, Martin said.