Velma Korbel is the new Minneapolis Civil Rights Director


The Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved R.T. Rybak's nomination of Velma Korbel for the city's new Civil Rights director this morning.

Korbel is currently the Commissioner of the Minneapolis Minnesota Department of Human Rights. She is slated to start the new gig June 1.

The Civil Rights department has endured some rocky times under Rybak's watch.

The outgoing director, Michael Jordan, became a controversial figure in city politics almost immediately after his 2007 appointment when he fired Ingrid Tollefson, a highly praised investigator. In the six turbulent months that followed, the department underwent a major staff shakeup that left many questioning the new director's leadership.

"I have lost confidence in [Jordan's] ability to do that job based on what I've seen coming out of that department," then-City Councilmember Ralph Remington told City Pages in 2008.

Jordan was the only city department head Rybak did not nominate for reappointment earlier this year.

So will Jordan's successor clean up his mess?

Rybak seems to think so. "She is immensely qualified to lead the department and I am very pleased to nominate her for the job," the mayor said in a news release.

Rybak and the City Council have both touted Korbel's resume, which includes administrative positions with the Metropolitan Council and the Metropolitan Waste Control Commission.

Then again, Rybak sang almost identical praise about Jordan three years ago. Stay tuned.