In July, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission honored Diane Citrino ’82 with the Nirmal K. Sinha Commissioner Award for her efforts to protect civil rights. The award is bestowed upon individuals that embody Mahatma Gandhi’s statement, “you must be the change that you wish to see in the world.” A longtime legal aid attorney, Citrino was regional director of the Akron Region of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission for the past three years.
She recently resigned her post to enter private practice at the Cleveland, Ohio, firm of Kushner & Rendon. Citrino is looking forward to working on behalf of plaintiff’s civil rights. She plans to build a practice focused on housing and employment discrimination cases. In addition to her caseload, for a number of years Citrino taught a clinical course in fair housing as an adjunct professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
Citrino’s public service career dates back to a Boalt-sponsored summer internship at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Chicago. She says that being at Boalt helped her to realize the vision of public interest by giving her the opportunity to work with and meet like minded people. The ACLU summer internship “changed her life.”
For much of her career, Citrino worked in the field of housing discrimination. As senior attorney at the Ohio-based nonprofit, Housing Advocates, she litigated many significant cases, including Buckeye Community Hope Foundation et al. v. City of Cuyahoga Falls, et al which went to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1999, she won a substantial jury verdict in the trial of Cynthia Walker et al. v. Paul F. Crawford, a sexual harassment case. She also litigated the case of Eva et al. v. Midwest National Mortgage Banc, Inc. et al., a case alleging housing discrimination, predatory lending, fraud and civil RICO violations, as well as other predatory lending cases.