G. Michael Payton, Executive Director
Michael is the Executive Director for the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the state law enforcement agency that administers the Ohio Civil Rights Act in the areas of employment, public accommodations, housing, credit and disabilities in higher education while conducting education and outreach. Michael oversees a statewide staff of 80 employees who investigate over 4,000 charges of discrimination annually.
Michael previously served as Chief Legal Counsel and Director of Operations for the Commission. In this capacity, he oversaw and directed civil rights investigations, administrative adjudications, special enforcement initiatives, Alternative Dispute Resolution and community outreach while providing legal advice to the Commission’s staff.
Michael previously served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Ohio for 11 years. During this period, he prosecuted cases arising under the Ohio Civil Rights Act while serving as counsel to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. He then served as Assistant Chief in the Attorney General’s Transportation Section and oversaw and conducted litigation as defense counsel for the Ohio Department of Transportation (“ODOT”) in disputes involving civil rights, construction, contracts, employment, eminent domain and environmental matters. Michael also served as ODOT’s Real Estate Administrator and in this capacity directed all statewide highway-related real estate acquisition and activities for ODOT.
Michael has served on the Traffic Stops Procedures Committee for the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police and as an advisory committee member to the Ohio State Highway Patrol relating to biased-based policing. He is a member of the National Association of Human Rights Workers and an Honorary Member of Beta Gamma Sigma and Sigma Iota Epsilon Honor Societies at Wright State University’s Roin College of Business.
Michael received a national award in April 2003 from EEOC Chairperson Cari Dominguez for innovative proactive prevention initiatives in education and outreach relating to employment discrimination. Michael is a 2007 recipient of the Ohio Conference NAACP’s Civil Rights Vanguard Award; a 2008 recipient of the Fair Housing Advocates Association’s Keeper of The Dream Award for fair housing advocacy; a 2010 recipient of the Toledo Chapter of the NAACP’s President’s Outstanding Civil Rights Award; a 2013 recipient of the West Virginia Human Rights Commission’s Special Recognition Award in the cause for equality and human dignity; and, a 2013 recipient of The Ohio State University Alumni Association’s Alumni in Government Distinguished Service Award.
Michael obtained his B.A. in Political Science from The Ohio State University and his Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. He is a member of the Bar in the Supreme Court of Ohio, the Southern and Northern Ohio Districts of the United States District Court, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is an active speaker before various legal, professional and community groups.
Michael lives in Gahanna, Ohio with his wife and child. He enjoys reading and golf.
Keith P. McNeil, Esq., Director Regional Operations
Keith McNeil has devoted a lengthy career to serving the citizens of the State of Ohio by enforcing Ohio’s civil rights laws. With more than 30 years with the Commission, he has served the OCRC as Regional Counsel and Director of Operations since October 2001. In this role, he is a member of the Executive Team and is responsible for overseeing the Commission’s investigative teams and processes in each of the five regional offices located in Akron, Dayton, Cleveland, Toledo and Columbus. He also serves as in-house counsel by providing expert legal advice in each case of alleged discrimination filed with the Commission.
In line with the OCRC’s mission to reach out to the Ohio community and provide education about the laws against discrimination, Mr. McNeil serves as one of the agency’s primary external training facilitators and spokespersons. He is a frequent guest lecturer on topics such as the Administrative Process, Sexual Harassment, Housing Discrimination, Sexual Orientation and Gender Stereotyping, Religion, National Origin and the Commission’s Investigative Process. He currently serves as the Coordinator of the Legal Extern Program which has established ties with many of Ohio’s Law Schools.
Mr. McNeil oversees many of the departments responsible for the day-to-day operations including the Commission’s Mediation Program, Housing Department, Office of Constituent Affairs, Compliance and Enforcement as well as the Human Resources Department.
Mr. McNeil also serves as a leader of several internal committees and task force groups aimed at continual process improvement and progress measurement. He co-authored the OCRC Investigative Technique Manual and authored the OCRC Investigator Training Program. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for ADA Ohio.
Mr. McNeil received his BA in Education and Juris Doctorate from the University of Akron. He is a member of the Bar of Ohio and the US District Court of the Northern District of Ohio. He previously served as Regional Director for the Akron Region of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission from 1994 through 2001. In 1999 he was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northern Ohio Fair Housing Association and recognized by the Ohio House of Representatives. Other than a year sabbatical to practice criminal and family law, his entire career has been devoted to the enforcement of Ohio’s civil rights laws.
Stephanie Bostos-Demers, Chief Legal Counsel
Stephanie Bostos-Demers assumed duties of Chief Legal Counsel for the OCRC on January 13, 2014. Ms. Demers served as Compliance Director for Columbus State Community College (CSCC) for five years where she provided EEO, labor, HR advise and served as an adjunct professor. Stephanie previously held positions in the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and served as HR Director in addition to duties as Chief and Assistant Chief of the AG’s Civil Rights Section. As Chief and Assistant Chief of the AG’s Civil Rights Section, Stephanie oversaw and managed the OCRC’s litigation and provided legal advice to OCRC Commissioners and staff. She previously served as a litigation associate with the law firm then known as Crabbe, Brown, Jones, Potts & Schmidt.
Stephanie earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Ashland University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She also graduated with honors and received Order of Curia distinction while earning both a Juris Doctorate and Masters in Business Administration degree at Capital University. Stephanie serves as a member of the Board of Trustees and Alumni Board for Ashland University and is a certified member of the Society of Professional Human Resources.