Landlady's 'White Only' Sign Still Not OK, Commission Says



A landlady accused of posting a racist sign outside a swimming pool hasn't had any luck in appealing a ruling that her action violated civil rights laws. A civil rights commission rejected the landlady's appeal Thursday, voting 4-0 against reassessing its previous finding that Jamie Hein had violated the Ohio Civil Rights Act.

Hein allegedly posted the sign (pictured above) that states "Public Swimming Pool, White Only" in the spring at a duplex in Cincinnati. According to various media reports, witnesses said that the landlady wanted to deter a black teenager, who was visiting her parents at the duplex, from entering the pool, because Hein was worried that chemicals in the female teen's hair would make the pool "cloudy."

Acting on a complaint filed by the teenager's father, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission found Hein, who is white, guilty of violating the Ohio Civil Rights Act. Hein said in her defense that she collects antiques and displayed the sign only for decorative purposes. She also said that she posted the sign -- which is dated 1931 and is from Alabama -- long before Memorial Day Weekend, when the teenager visited the duplex and was allegedly told by Hein that she had made the pool "cloudy." According to TV station WLWT, that claim would seem to contradict an earlier statement that Hein made when she told the commission that she posted the sign because of the teenager's hair.

Hein, who says that she's not racist, does not appear to have publicly expressed any regret for the discriminatory message of the sign. "I was trying to protect my assets," WLWT reports Hein as having told the commission in September.

The teenager's father reportedly said on Thursday that he felt "shock, disgust and outrage" over the sign.

Hein has often declined to speak to the media, but she did tell ABC News in mid-December that, "If I have to stick up for my white rights, I have to stick up for my white rights. It goes both ways."

The Ohio attorney general's office is slated to represent the commission's findings before a judge who may impose penalties on Hein, according to WLWT.


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