NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A prominent lawyer with a civil rights background has been named to lead the civilian panel that reviews misconduct complaints against NYPD officers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that Richard Emery will chair the Civilian Complaint Review Board. The former chairman stepped down last winter.

Emery is a former New York Civil Liberties Union lawyer. More recently, he has represented clients that include one of the former Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of rape.

The decades-old CCRB has been criticized as ineffective — including by Emery. He said he’s sometimes advised his own clients not to approach the panel because of doubts that they would get a swift, just outcome.

He said he aims to create more confidence in the panel while insuring officers are treated fairly.

De Blasio said the city is almost starting from scratch with the panel.

“I think this is a chance to get it right,” the mayor told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb.

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