• Manley-Hunt Says She Is ‘Weighing Options’ Over Banquet Incident

    by Mitch Lehman

    The woman who feels her ex-husband was asked to leave the San Marino High School girls’ basketball banquet at San Gabriel Country Club because he is African American told The Tribune she is “at a crossroads” and is considering her options.

    Kristine Manley-Hunt, whose daughter is a member of the Lady Titan basketball program, said she has received letters from both San Gabriel Country Club and SMUSD Superintendent Loren Kleinrock, but doesn’t feel either party is being accountable.

    Paul Hunt, the woman’s ex-husband, was asked to leave the premises on Wednesday, March 19 because he was wearing shorts and sandals at the banquet. Hunt had driven almost three hours to be in attendance at the event and could not  make it home to change his attire and back to the country club before the banquet ended. Hunt initially looked for a men’s store in the area, but at 6’5” and 280 lbs., was unable to find a haberdashery that met his specific needs. He never returned to the banquet.

    Dawn McClendon, another parent who is also half African American,  showed up in denim and was asked to leave. McClendon went home, changed, and returned to the banquet.

    An Evite that was used by event organizers stated “Attire: SGCC is a country club, no denim allowed.” It did not mention shorts. A comprehensive dress code was added to San Gabriel Country Club’s non-member website some time in the past seven days.

    Manley-Hunt also took issue with a letter sent to Kleinrock by Eric Gregory, general manager of SGCC, which declares the club

    “We strongly stand by the staff’s ability and insistence on enforcing the Club’s policies consistently and believe that our staff properly communicated those policies on the night of the event and provided the option of changing or purchasing an item from the Club’s pro-shop. In review of the dress code policy sent to the event host, however, we have realized that there was no specific mention of shorts or sandals being prohibited.”

    Manley-Hunt said Gregory’s claim that her ex-husband was offered an opportunity to purchase pants in the pro shop “a blatant lie.”

    “Their letter is telling me what their stand is,” said Manley-Hunt. “They are saying their staff is correct in making Paul leave even though the dress code didn’t exist at the time. I really need them to see this and be accountable for it. This is why I must feel there is some racist undertone and we cannot move forward one millimeter. It’s not really even the race thing – it’s that we are pulling parents away from their children, and for what?”

    School Board President Chris Norgaard responded to a claim by Manley-Hunt in last week’s Tribune that the SMUSD had not answered her emails, saying that both he and Kleinrock had written back in a reasonable, timely fashion.

    John Semcken, president of San Gabriel Country Club’s board of directors declined further comment on Monday night

    “This is the last thing we want to be going on with our family,” Manley-Hunt said. “This is taking a large emotional toll on our family.”

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