Chris Koster (D)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline)- A Democratic candidate for Missouri attorney general has proposed creating a ninth division in the AG's office to handle cases of discrimination.

State Sen. Chris Koster, D-Harrisonville, said he would create the Division of Civil and Disability Rights within six months of being elected attorney general.

"By creating the Division of Civil and Disability Rights, we will be sending a strong message that discrimination of all kinds towards the disabled community, or based on race, gender, or sexual orientation is simply unacceptable in the state of Missouri," Koster said in a statement.

He added that the division would "aggressively fight for equity under the law and against discrimination" in cases related to housing, employment, education, public transportation and voting rights.

The division would also head up the office's work against domestic violence and house a "high-level official" who will serve as a liaison to the state's gay community.

"The charge of this Division will be to aggressively prosecute discrimination, and open the doors of the Attorney General's Office to Missourians of all walks of life," Koster said. "These are important first steps in that process."

The Attorney General's Office is currently comprised of eight divisions: Agriculture and Environment, Consumer Protection, Criminal, Financial Services, Government Affairs, Labor, Litigation and Public Safety.

Also seeking the Democratic AG nomination is state Rep. Margaret Donnelly, D-Richmond Heights, and state Rep. Jeff Harris, D-Columbia.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at

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