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MISSION VIEJO : Task Force Formed to Fight Hate Crimes

The prevention and prosecution of hate crimes will be discussed at the first meeting of a newly formed city task force on Monday.

Formed in response to a number of racial incidents in the area, the five-member task force will also look into victim support, including a 24-hour hot line for reporting hate crimes.

The possibility of hiring a special legal counsel to prosecute misdemeanor hate crimes will also be on the agenda.

“South Orange County is made up of educated and compassionate people,” said Mayor Robert A. Curtis, “and we want to make it clear that our community is not a safe haven for hatemongers.”

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The city also confirmed that Rusty Kennedy, director of the Orange County Human Relations Commission, will join the task force.

Other members include Curtis; Councilman Robert D. Breton; George Williams, president of the Orange County Urban League; and Michael Kelner, director of Heritage Pointe, a Jewish retirement community.

Speaking at the meeting will be Capt. Andy Romero, commander of the Orange County sheriff’s investigation division; Orange County Sheriff’s Lt. George Johnson; and Guy Ormages, deputy district attorney for the county.


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