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Mayor Muriel Bowser Names Brian Ferguson as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Returning Citizen Affairs

Friday, September 9, 2016

(Washington, DC) -- Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announces the appointment of Brian Ferguson as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Returning Citizen Affairs (MORCA), effective September 12, 2016. A native Washingtonian and Ward 4 resident, Ferguson previously served as the Human Rights Officer and Investigator within the DC Office of Human Rights, where he led public outreach and trainings pursuant to the District’s new Fair Criminal Record Screening Amendment Act (otherwise known as ‘Ban the Box’).     
 
“Brian Ferguson’s personal story as a returning citizen and experience in developing innovative strategies for engaging the community make him well suited to lead the Mayor’s Office of Returning Citizens Affairs as we continue to implement programs District-wide to ensure returning citizens have a fair shot at pathways to the middle class,” said Mayor Bowser. “I also want to thank Charles Thornton for his long service to the returning citizen community through his leadership at MORCA and his tireless advocacy for men and women coming home to the District of Columbia.”  
 
In 2002, while an undergraduate at West Virginia University, Mr. Ferguson’s law school plans were derailed when he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after being wrongfully convicted of homicide. After an eleven year legal battle, the conviction was overturned and he returned home. In 2014, he founded Startline, a non-profit online platform designed to assist returning citizens with identifying and locating available resources and services. In 2015, Mr. Ferguson was elected to the Voices for a Second Chance Board of Directors, which seeks to bridge the gap between incarceration and the community.
 
Ferguson replaces Charles Thornton who has led MORCA since 2011. Mr. Thornton will assume a new role in the Office of Human Rights, and he will be appointed as a member of the Corrections Information Council (CIC).