February 23, 2009
Jefferson City, Mo. - Attorney General Chris Koster has appointed St. Louis Senior Judge Barbara Crancer to head a newly created division of his office charged with enforcing civil rights, along with the rights of workers and the disabled. Crancer will serve as Chief Counsel of the Division of Civil, Disability and Workers' Rights.
Koster pledged in his campaign for Attorney General to create such a division within his first six months in office. The division's duties will fall into three categories:
Until now, many of these duties have been handled by attorneys in other divisions of the Attorney General's Office, including the divisions of Public Safety, Consumer Protection, Litigation and Governmental Affairs. The emphasis on pursuit of matters involving undocumented and misclassified workers stems from the 2008 illegal immigration law.
"One of government's foremost jobs is to protect the basic rights of Missourians to work, vote, access buildings and do any number of things most of us take for granted," Koster said. "For the first time, the Attorney General's Office will have a separate legal enforcement division set up to focus solely on these fundamental rights, and I am honored to have Judge Crancer pioneer this effort."
"After nearly 20 years in public service, I have come to appreciate the important role our government and our legal system play in making sure Missourians' rights are protected," Crancer said. "I am humbled to be appointed to this position by Attorney General Koster, and I look forward to working with the many talented attorneys, investigators and other experts in the Attorney General's Office to make a difference for Missourians."
Crancer, the division's Chief Counsel, has served as a judge in Missouri's 21st Judicial Circuit, located in St. Louis County, since 1992. She received her bachelor's degree from Albion College in Albion, Mi., and her law license from Washington University in St. Louis.