R.T. Rybak nominates Velma Korbel new Civil Rights director

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has chosen Velma Korbel as his nomination for the city's next director of the Department of Civil Rights. Korbel is currently the Commissioner of the Minneapolis Department of Human Rights.

"[Korbel] will bring new energy and focus to the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights. She is immensely qualified to lead the department and I am very pleased to nominate her for the job," says Rybak in a news release.

If approved by the City Council, Korbel will succeed Michael Jordan. Appointed in 2007, Jordan was a source of controversy from the beginning when he fired a well-liked employee of the department. The firing started a six-month shakeup in the department that led to almost all its employees either leaving or being fired. Many City Council members have said they had no faith in Jordan's ability as a leader.

It was then not too much of a shocker when in February Rybak re-nominated every city department head except for Jordan.

"[Rybak] wants to go in a new direction," said Rybak spokesman John Stiles in February. "He thinks there has been progress, but he's looking for a strong new manager."

Korbel's resume shows two decades of work in the Twin Cities, including administrative positions with the Metropolitan Council and the Metropolitan Waste Control Commission.

Rybak plans to formally announce his nomination Wednesday. From there, it will go to the City Council for approval.

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