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Outten & Golden Partner to Lead Revamped Agency

New York Law Journal—Ben Bedell

Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed a new chair to New York City's Human Rights Commission and replaced all eight other commissioners.

Saying he wanted to make the commission a "robust enforcer of our fundamental civil rights," de Blasio on Nov. 21 replaced Patricia Gatling, a Bloomberg appointment, with Carmelyn Malalis, a partner at Outten & Golden, which represents plaintiffs in discrimination cases.

With 66 staff members, the agency has authority under New York City's Administrative Code to investigate and bring discrimination cases in housing, employment, public accommodations and bias-based harassment allegations.

The law covers bias stemming from race, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, citizenship status, disability, marital and partnership status, arrest or conviction record, unemployment status, family or lawful occupation status. The commission has a budget of $6.5 million, two-thirds of which is federal funding.

Bloomberg had been credited with reviving the commission. Gatling testified before the City Council in March that the agency had "resolved more cases with more money going to complainants and more fines going to the city."

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