The Human Rights Commission in Rapid City has been granted the power to issue subpoenas, cross-examine witnesses and order remedies should it believe someone has been the victim of discrimination in the city.
The commission can begin enforcing its new powers in about three weeks.
Under the new city ordinance, the commission is allowed to compel witnesses during investigations conducted by the City Attorney's Office. The commission would then decide how to resolve a claim with probable cause handed down from an assistant city attorney.
The commission is made up of seven unpaid members.
The Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce had opposed granting the anti-discrimination powers to the commission citing "lack of training" and the "duplication of services" among its concerns.
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