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James Kirkpatrick is new head of state Human Rights Department

James Kirkpatrick is the new commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, replacing Velma Korbel, who is leaving to become director of the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights.

Kirkpatrick has been the state's deputy commissioner since 2003. He'd previously worked as a finance and accounting manager for LSG Sky Chefs and revenue controller with National Car Rental Systems. Kirkpatrick also served in the Army for 20 years, retiring with the rank of major.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty made the appointment, saying Kirkpatrick is experienced in working in support of fairness and justice” and "has the skills and background to manage the department’s budget and ensure that cases that come before the Human Rights Department are resolved in a timely manner.”

The Human Rights department enforces Minnesota’s anti-discrimination laws and promotes equal opportunity.

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Comments (2)

I'd like to know a little bit more about him. What are his background and credentials for "working in support of fairness and justice"? Based on the sketchy information provided here it looks like he has a military background and experience in accounting and finance? what did he do in the military and what has he done in past positions to indicate a commitment to civil rights? Without more information this looks like a "friend of the governor" appointment. This looks like passing along information and not journalism to me.

I am gratified that our new Commissioner for the Department of Human Rights - Mr James kirkpatrick, will be enforcing the Human Rights laws of Minnesota as he was lauded by his appointee, Governor Pawlenty, as being an experienced just and fair gentleman.

I say a warm WELCOME to your new position Commissioner Kirkpatrick! As one who has walked the lonely and very traumatic road of discrimination - experienced in the state of Minnesota and is still reeling from it, my prayer is, that God will grant you Sir, the wisdom and courage to be impartial by uphold the rights of all. I especially pray for the disenfranchised and marginalized who currently appear to have but a muted voice against powerful corporations with their political affiliations, strong financial backing and well-heeled attorneys.

Our American System based on the Principles of Democracy - the Constitution-the supreme law of this great land is supposed to be a "bastion" of Human Rights by upholding the law without favor. No one is above the law even our Commander-in-Chief! This has made America - Great! May America continue to be great by building our country on the platform of justice and the humane treatment of all peoples!