Krista L. Pickens is the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at the University of Utah. She holds a national certification as a Certified Paralegal. She began her university career in 2006, as an EO investigator and has served on several university committees that promote equal opportunity and diversity. She loves the challenges inherent in her role as the University's Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator and is thrilled to be part of the university community.
Krista began her investigative career in the 1970s as a Salt Lake City Police officer. She served as a patrol officer, accident investigator, agent in the Vice and Narcotics divisions, and as a detective in the Homicide/Sex Crimes Division. She resigned from the force (after marrying a local criminal defense attorney) and began her new investigative career as a criminal defense investigator in her own private investigations firm, specializing in homicide and sex crimes. She maintained her public service connection by presenting courses to various law enforcement agencies in homicide and sex crimes investigations. Her P.I. business was successful and she soon added two additional investigators and one of the state's leading forensic toxicologists to her staff. Pickens & Associates was retained by many prominent and excellent criminal defense attorneys in Utah, California, Wyoming, and Colorado. Krista has served as the criminal defense investigator in several high profile criminal, civil, and civil rights cases and was credited by one U.S. District Judge, for discovering and providing exculpatory evidence in a federal sentencing (despite the efforts of a law enforcement agency to conceal the information) that completely exonerated the defendant, as having any involvement in a murder accusation. She has testified as an expert witness on the subjects of police procedure and forensic evidence collection, in both state and federal court. She's been invited to, but declined an honored seat on the back of a grateful client's, (Chapter President of the Hell's Angel) motorcycle.
Krista's passion for justice, fairness, and equal opportunity, has been affected greatly by social and legal movements of the 60's and 70's, the Viet Nam war, the Civil Rights Movement, Women's rights, United Farmworkers Movement, and her experiences both in law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Her success as an investigator, in no small part, has been based upon the fact that she is the nosiest person in the valley. She spends her personal time hiking her beloved Utah mountains and deserts with her dogs and whomever of her 6 children or 4 grandchildren who are available.