Attorney General Charlie Crist now has expanded power to investigate and take civil action against discrimination, thanks to both chambers of the legislature overwhelmingly passing the Dr. Marvin Davies Florida Civil Rights Act.HB 143-A, sponsored by Rep. Jeffrey Kottkamp, R-Cape Coral, passed 112-1. And SB-46A, sponsored by Sen. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, passed 36-1.The new legislation is named after the longtime civil rights crusader and the NAACP’s Florida director from 1963-72, who died in April.As Sen. Rod Smith, D-Gainesville, argued on the Senate floor May 21, the attorney general had to go after discrimination cases with “a ruse” under the Unfair Trade Practices Act, rather than the Florida Civil Rights Act.That’s because there was no formal mechanism or statutory authority within the Florida Commission on Human Relations, between the FCHR and the Attorney General’s Office, or within the Office of the Attorney General to independently investigate or initiate action under the Florida Civil Rights Act for “discrimination that is based on a pattern or practice of discrimination or discrimination that raises an issue of great public interest.”The bill changes the burden of proof to the federal standard of proving a “pattern or practice of discrimination” — rather than the standards of “intimidation and coercion,” which was difficult to prove, Crist said.Crist said the need for a change in law was brought home by several recent high-profile cases: Thai Tony, a South Florida restaurant that only added automatic tips to the checks of African-American patrons, the Adams Mark hotel chain that discriminated against black guests, and the Perry package store that sent a visiting black Maryland legislator to the back room to have a drink.The bill will give the attorney general independent authority to initiate upon reasonable cause a civil action for damages, injunctive relief, and civil penalties up to $10,000 per violation, against any person or group for “patterns or practices of discrimination” or “for discrimination that raises an issue of great public interest.” Measure to expand AG’s civil rights powers passes June 15, 2003 Regular News Measure to expand AG’s civil rights powers passes
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Press Association Sport understands Clattenburg drove home alone after officiating West Brom’s home game against Crystal Palace so he could get back to Newcastle to watch Sheeran perform at the Metro Radio Arena. The rules of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), state officials must travel to and from the ground together to protect their integrity and security. Press Association Mark Clattenburg has been dropped for this weekend’s Premier League fixtures after breaking protocol so he could watch an Ed Sheeran concert. It has also emerged that Clattenburg broke another rule by speaking to Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock on the phone after the 2-2 draw at the Hawthorns. The PGMOL insists a referee should only be allowed to speak to a manager 30 minutes after the game and that conversation must take place in front of his assistants. After Clattenburg’s two errors came to light, the PGMOL board decided not to select the 39-year-old from County Durham for any top-flight games this weekend. This is not the first time Clattenburg has found himself in trouble. Five years ago he was sacked by the PGMOL following an investigation into his “private business affairs” although the punishment was reduced to an eight-month ban on appeal. In 2005 he and his assistants failed to award Tottenham a goal at Old Trafford when Roy Carroll fumbled Pedro Mendes’ shot over the line. Seven years later Clattenburg was accused of racially abusing Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel during their match against Manchester United. Clattenburg was cleared by the Football Association. Last season he was accused of insulting Adam Lallana during Southampton’s 2-1 defeat to Everton, but again he was cleared. With Clattenburg now dropped, Stuart Attwell has been handed Leicester’s home game against West Brom on Saturday. Attwell is no stranger to controversy himself. In 2008 Attwell, after a discussion with his assistant Nigel Bannister, awarded Reading a goal at Watford even though the ball had clearly gone a yard wide of the net. Saturday’s game at Leicester will be the 32-year-old’s first Premier League match in more than two years.