'Whites Only' landlord says she has no problem with race
The Ohio landlord accused of discrimination for posting a “Public Swimming Pool, White Only” sign is now speaking out against the controversy.
“I’m not a bad person,” Jamie Hein of Cincinnati told ABCNews.com. “I don’t have any problem with race at all.”
In her defense to the accusatiivil rion of discrimination, thirty-one-year old Hein told ABC that she collects antiques and the sign was a gift—dated 1931 and from Alabama.
Although the sign seems to insinuate that the pool is public, said she it is actually on her private property: “Everybody has to ask before getting in my pool.”
Reports stated that the tenant who filed the discrimination charge with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission is Michael Gunn.
Gunn, 40, wrote in his complaint that Hein initially had invited his African-American daughter to take a swim in the pool during Memorial Day weekend. However, Hein later claimed that his teenage daughter made the pool dirty due to the chemicals in her hair.
“The owner, Jamie Hein, accused my daughter of making the pool ‘cloudy’ because she used chemicals in her hair,” Gunn wrote in his complaint.
Then, days later, according to Gunn, Jamie posted the sign on the gate to the pool which reads, “Public Swimming Pool, White Only.”
Though Gunn wrote that the family previously “had unrestricted access to the pool area,” Hein claimed that this was not true at all.
She told ABCNews.com that everyone, including her own father, has always had to ask for permission before swimming in her pool.
Additionally, she said the sign had nothing to do with Gunn’s daughter. It apparently was already up at the time of that party, but could not be seen when the gate was open.
“If I have to stick up for my white rights, I have to stick up for my white rights,” Hein told ABC. “It goes both ways.”
Ohio landlord Jamie Hein — who is white — wants the Ohio State Civil Rights Commission to reconsider its decision, made in September, that she violated the Ohio Civil Rights Act the sign at the pool in the duplex.
According to Commission Spokeswoman Brandi Martin, commissioners are scheduled to hear Hein’s request for reconsideration at a meeting today in Columbus.
The commission will meet to come to a final decision on Jan. 12, according to Martin.
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 told the Associated Press.
The administrative law judge will then determine if there are any penalties in the case. These penalties could include a cease-and-desist order and even punitive damages, Martin told the Associated Press.
Although any decision made by the administrative judge could be appealed to Hamilton County Common Pleas Court in Cincinnati, it is still possible for the parties to reach a settlement before resorting to legal action, according to Martin.