by Shannon Cay
FORT SMITH, Ark. – A new United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas is taking his place this week.
Duane Kees has taken the oath of office to become the United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas. Before taking this position, he served as the director of global ethics and compliance at Walmart.
Kees was nominated by President Donald Trump in September and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December. He and United States District Court Chief Judge P.K. Holmes, III began working immediately after the swearing-in ceremony.
As U.S. Attorney, Kees is the top-ranking federal law enforcement official in the Western District of Arkansas, which includes six divisions and 34 counties within Arkansas, including the Harrison area.
He now oversees a staff of 41 employees, including 21 attorneys and 20 non-attorney support personnel.
The office is responsible for prosecuting federal crimes in the district, including crimes related to terrorism, public corruption, child exploitation, firearms, and narcotics.
The office also defends the United States in civil cases and collects debts owed to the United States.
Kees succeeds Kenneth Elser, who had served as acting U.S. Attorney.