Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fed prosecutor forms civil rights unit for Western PA

 US Attorney David Hickton
The new U.S. attorney in Pittsburgh has created a five-attorney civil rights unit to handle criminal and civil cases involving hate crimes, police misconduct, and other civil rights issues in the 25-county western district of Pennsylvania.
"It is hard to believe that in 2010 we are still fighting for equality of all Americans," U.S. Attorney David Hickton said at a news conference Tuesday.

Hickton took office in August, replacing Mary Beth Buchanan, who resigned last year before her failed bid for Congress, and established the civil rights unit in October. He waited to make a formal announcement until Thomas Perez, the assistant attorney general who heads the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, could appear in Pittsburgh with him.

The unit will also target sexual exploitation of children and human trafficking, and civil rights issues more likely to prompt lawsuits than criminal prosecutions, such as biased lending and housing practices.

Perez, Hickton, and his civil rights team met with community and local civil rights leaders at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture before Tuesday's news conference. The center two blocks from the federal courthouse where Hickton works is (read more) Fed prosecutor forms civil rights unit for W. Pa. Associated Press The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, PA

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