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The Division of Human Rights and Fair Housing

About

The Division of Human Rights and Fair Housing (“DHR”) performs two primary missions with regard to Virginia’s civil rights laws.

First, DHR investigates complaints alleging discrimination in employment, places of public accommodation, and educational institutions in violation of the Virginia Human Rights Act or corresponding federal laws. At the conclusion of an investigation, DHR is charged with determining whether there is reasonable cause to believe discrimination occurred. As part of its investigative process, DHR also facilitates conciliation efforts among the parties to resolve their cases either before or after an investigation. DHR participates in a work-share agreement with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate and make determinations with regard to alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other civil rights laws.

In its second function, DHR serves as counsel to the Real Estate Board and Fair Housing Board for allegations of housing discrimination filed by complainants. If an investigation of housing discrimination results in a "reasonable cause" finding and resulting "Charges of Discrimination" issued by either or both of the Boards, the Division prosecutes the alleged violations of the Virginia Fair Housing Law through civil actions filed in the appropriate local circuit court.

 

R. Thomas Payne, II

Dir. Civil Rights Unit/SAAG Fair Housing

Division of Human Rights and Fair Housing

Office of the Attorney General
202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, VA 23219
 

 

 

 

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Health Professions Unit

About

The Health Professions Unit (HPU) provides a focused and effective administrative prosecution of cases against health care professionals involving violations of health care-related laws and regulations before the various health care regulatory boards under the Virginia Department of Health Professions (DHP).

The Unit's staff primarily focuses on providing legal advice and representation of a prosecutorial nature to the Boards within DHP, including, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, Dentistry, Funeral Directors and Embalmers, Counseling, Long-Term Care Administrators, Social Work, Psychology, Physical Therapy, Optometry, and Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. In addition to prosecuting administrative actions against the licensees, HPU provides training to investigators, Board staff, and Board members. Many of the cases that HPU prosecutes involve standard of care violations, substance abuse, mental illness/incompetence, sexual touching, and patient abuse. Following formal hearings before the Boards, disciplinary sanctions, including suspension and revocation of licenses, are often imposed.

 

Frank W. Pedrotty

Senior Assistant Attorney General

Health Professions Unit

Office of the Attorney General
202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, VA 23219
 
 

 

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Medicaid & Social Services Section

The Medicaid and Social Services Section provides legal counsel and representation to several state agency clients, including the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS), the Department of Social Services (DSS), the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and the Office of Comprehensive Services (OCS), as well as various boards associated with these client agencies. As part of its representation, attorneys in this section assist these clients in protecting the safety of children and other vulnerable citizens of the Commonwealth.

DMAS is the single state agency which administers the Virginia Medicaid program, a joint federal and state program that provides health care and long term care coverage for specific groups of Virginians with low incomes under Title XIX of the Social Security Act. DMAS also administers the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS) and FAMIS MOMS programs, which provide health care coverage to low income children and pregnant women. The section reviews regulations promulgated by the Department, contracts for various services and procurements, provides legal advice on issues which affect these programs and provides counsel to the meetings held quarterly by the Board of Medical Assistance Services. The section also handles any litigation which arises out these programs. Litigation typically involves recipient appeals where coverage may be limited or denied, or provider appeals, in which medical providers dispute the reimbursement paid by DMAS.

DSS is the state agency which supervises the locally administered social services system in Virginia. The agency provides guidance and oversight to 120 local agencies across the state. DSS administers a number of benefits programs, including the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the food stamp program, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Energy Assistance, and Child Care Assistance. DSS also provides various services such as Child Protective Services, Refugee Resettlement Services, and adoption and foster care services. Similar to the services provided to DMAS, this section's attorneys also review DSS regulations promulgated by the Board of Social Services, review various contracts for procurements and services, assist at Board of Social Services meetings, and provide legal advice on social services issues. The litigation consists primarily of defending findings of child abuse and appeals of decisions within various benefits programs.

The Office of Comprehensive Services, along with its supervisory body, the State Executive Council (SEC), administers the provisions of the Comprehensive Services Act for At-Risk Youth and Families (CSA), a law that establishes a single state pool of funds to purchase services for at- risk youth and their families. The Section provides advice to these clients regarding SEC policies and assists in the SEC Board meetings. 

DARS’ representation is handled by both this section and the Health Services Section. This section's representation is in the adult services area, including adult protective services.

Kim F. Piner

Senior Assistant Attorney General/Chief

Medicaid & Social Services Section

Office of the Attorney General
202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, VA 23219


 

 

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Correctional Litigation Section

The Correctional Litigation Section provides a full range of legal services to the Department of Corrections, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Virginia Parole Board on legal issues ranging from litigation, to contract and policy review.

Department links

Department of Corrections

Department of Juvenile Justice

Virginia Parole Board

 

Diane Abato

Senior Assistant Attorney General/Chief

Correctional Litigation Section

Office of the Attorney General
202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, VA 23219