United States Attorney’s Office For The District Of Vermont Announces Hiring Of New Attorney To Focus On Civil Rights
United States Attorney Eric Miller announced today that Julia Torti has joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Office’s Civil Division. Ms. Torti, who grew up in Vermont and is returning after starting her career at a civil rights law firm in New York, is one of thirty-four new Assistant United States Attorneys joining U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country and focusing on enforcement of the nation’s federal civil rights laws. The Department of Justice created these new positions to increase and improve the United States Attorney’s Offices’ ability to apply dedicated resources to civil rights enforcement in all corners of the country. With the support of Vermont’s civil rights advocates and elected officials, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont was awarded one of the thirty-four new positions through a competitive application process.
Since 2010, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont has developed a civil rights program through community outreach, education, and case work. It has investigated and resolved numerous civil rights cases involving disability discrimination. The Chief of the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office, Nikolas Kerest, noted, “The addition of a new Assistant United States Attorney concentrating in this area will significantly increase the Office’s ability to reach and to protect the civil rights of Vermonters.”
“Aggressive protection of the civil rights of the residents of Vermont is a top priority for the Department of Justice,” said U.S. Attorney Miller. “The Department and this U.S. Attorney’s Office are committed to a level playing field for all Vermont residents, promoting equal opportunity for Vermonters, and educating the public about their rights and responsibilities under federal civil rights laws. Being selected to receive one of the thirty-four new civil rights AUSA positions and having Assistant United States Attorney Torti join us are great steps toward achieving those goals.”
“Now, more than ever, it is crucial that we have the resources in Vermont and in other states to investigate and prosecute civil rights violations. I commend U.S. Attorney Eric Miller and his team for their hard work in securing this position for Vermont, and I was gratified to be in a position to support their efforts,” said Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “As Vermont’s population becomes more diverse, we will continue to work to assure that no one faces discrimination based on the color of their skin, their identified gender or sexual orientation, their disability or their religious beliefs. I am proud that our small state is committed to upholding these basic human rights because all Vermonters deserve to be treated with dignity and fairness.”
Also joining the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont and working towards the protection of the civil rights of Vermonters will be a contract Civil Rights Intake and Outreach Coordinator. This contractor will be collaborating with Assistant United States Attorney Torti and local community members, advocacy groups and other federal and state agencies to promote education and protection of Vermonters’ civil rights.
Curtiss Reed, Jr., the Executive Director of the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity, added, "Vermont Partnership for Fairness & Diversity applauds the staff additions to the office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont at a time when many Vermonters feel vulnerable to acts of discrimination, denial of services, and hate crimes. We look forward to working with Ms. Torti and her colleagues to defend and strengthen civil rights for all Vermonters.”
Federal civil rights laws, among other things, prohibit discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, national origin, gender, religion and disability; prohibit hate crimes; prohibit police misconduct; protect the constitutional rights of institutionalized persons; protect the employment rights of service members; and prohibit discrimination in housing and mortgage lending. For more information on the Department of Justice’s civil rights effort, please visit www.justice.gov/crt.