Human Relations Commission

Members


  • Merrill Smith ​Jr., Chairperson
  • Gail Heath, Acting Vice Chairperson
  • Nora Eidelman, Secretary
  • Katrina Burson
  • Gerald Folsom​
  • Walter Howell, Jr.
  • Eric Jackson
  • Janelle Johnson
  • Eugene Langbehn 
  • Troy Lowe
     
      

Commission Duties

Overview
The Human Relations Commission was established by County Ordinance in 1974, under Division 12 of the County Code, to protect the civil rights of individuals who work and live in Prince George’s County, Maryland.​

Responsibilities

  • The Commission is the Civil Rights agency for the County.
  • The Commission, through its Executive Director and the Commission Staff, processes and investigates alleged acts of discrimination that arise within the County.
  • The Commission hears cases in a Public Hearing forum, upon referral from the Executive Director, or on appeal from a recommendation of dismissal by the Executive Director.​
  • Commissioners and the Executive Director also make appearances throughout the County to meet with residents, municipalities, companies and community groups to promote the agency and its services.​​​​​​​

Membership
Council Bill 1-1972 established the Commission and mandated appointment of 13 Commissioners and an Executive Director to the Human Relations Commission. The 13 Commissioners are appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council for 3-year terms.

Executive Director
An Executive Director is also appointed by the County Executive to be staff to the Commissioners and to assist them by investigating and processing cases to be heard for final determination via a public hearing, where evidence is gathered by a Hearing Panel and a decision made as to whether a violation of the applicable federal or county civil rights laws has occurred. The Commission may award damages, issue subpoenas and order injunctive relief.