Rendell aide seeks federal probe of Montco swim club

Inquirer staff writers Alfred Lubrano and Zoe Tillman report:

An advisor to Gov. Rendell on African American affairs sent a letter Thursday to the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice asking for an investigation of the incident in which the Valley Club in Huntingdon Valley disinvited a group of black and Latino children from swimming at the club pool.

Sonya Toler, executive director of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs said in the letter to Assistant Attorney General Loretta King that the commission is “deeply troubled and concerned.”

In an interview today, Toler said the incident is “an obvious violation of the civil rights act.” She added that “in this day and time, black and Latino children should never be turned away from a service, especially one they paid for, because of the color of their skin. You’d like to think that everyone who stood on the line for civil rights had fought this fight already and won it.”

Last week, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (D., Pa.) sent a letter to the Civil Rights Division asking for a review. “If these allegations are true, then there appears to be a violation of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Specter wrote. “I would appreciate it if you would review this matter to determine what action, if any, is warranted by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.”

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