Kroger names lawyer to head new civil rights division

By Chris Rizo | Oct 5, 2009

John Kroger (D)

SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline)-Keeping with a campaign promise, Oregon Attorney General John Kroger on Monday named a lawyer to head his office's new civil rights division.

During Kroger's campaign to succeed fellow Democrat Hardy Myers as the Beaver State's chief legal officer, he promised to breathe new life into The Oregon Department of Justice Civil Rights program.

The office had been eliminated during the recession of the 1980s. In a statement, Kroger said Portland lawyer Diane Schwartz Sykes will lead his office's new civil rights program.

"I'm committed to protecting the civil rights and civil liberties of all Oregonians," Kroger said. "Diane Schwartz Sykes is a fearless courtroom attorney and a great addition to our team."

Schwartz Sykes is the former managing attorney of the Oregon Law Center in Portland, where she formed a civil legal services unit focused on employment, housing, consumer protection, individual rights, public benefits and predatory lending.

She also worked for Legal Aid Services of Oregon.

Despite Oregon's financial woes, state lawmakers this year found funding to restore the Department of Justice's civil rights division.

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