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Ed Peterson, former Portland lawyer who led initial effort in judicial system 25 years ago, speaks out during unveiling of his official portrait at Supreme Court Building in Salem.

Twenty-five years after he led Oregon's first efforts against racial and ethnic disparities in the judicial system, former Chief Justice Edwin Peterson says progress has been made "but we are not there yet."

Peterson, a lawyer in Portland before he became a justice, made the observations after his official portrait was unveiled last week (April 5) during a ceremony at the Supreme Court Building in Salem.

INVESTIGATEWESTPeterson's successor as chief justice, Wallace Carson, named him to lead a task force in February 1992 while he was still on the court. After it presented 72 recommendations in May 1994 — a few months after Peterson left the court — a second group led by future Chief Justice Paul De Muniz helped implement the report.

Peterson carried out several personal efforts to reduce racial bias.

In his remarks, he mused about how future generations will consider his public and private efforts.

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