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Stanford to serve as victims' advocate

Tina Marie Stanford, an assistant Erie County district attorney since 1993, is the new chairwoman of the State Crime Victims Board.

Stanford, 43, was named to a seven-year term after the State Senate approved her nomination by Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer.

Stanford, whose appointment was championed by Denise O'Donnell, commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice Services, will head a five-member board. As chairwoman, her annual salary will start at $101,600, according to John M. Caher, the agency's Albany spokesman.

She is expected to split her time between the board's Albany headquarters and its Buffalo office, Caher said.

Stanford is a 1982 graduate of Nardin Academy who received her political science degree from the Fordham University honors program in 1986. She got her UB Law degree in 1990.

She told The Buffalo News she is "humbled and honored to continue to work on behalf of innocent crime victims."

Erie County District Attorney Frank J. Clark said he was "thrilled" because she had not sought the high-powered job.

"This is a real testament to her because she never applied for the job," Clark said. "The Spitzer administration took its time until it found someone of Tina's experience, ability, temperament and talent to do the job," he added.

A member of the Nardin Academy Board of Trustees, Stanford, has been an adjunct instructor at the UB Law School since 1994.

Caher said the crime victims board was established in 1966 to "provide compensation to innocent victims of crime in a timely, efficient and compassionate manner" and it funds services to crime victims via a network of community-based programs statewide.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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