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Duane "DAK" Kees, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, which includes Garland County, announced his resignation effective midnight Thursday, according to a news release Monday.

Kees, of Bentonville, will enter the private sector in Arkansas, the release said.

During his tenure as United States attorney, Kees served on the Attorney General's Advisory Committee and was chair of the Veterans' Rights Subcommittee. He was responsible for opening a newly staffed office in Hot Springs, which has enabled the U.S. attorney's office to better serve the communities and counties in southern Arkansas, it said.

Kees oversaw the prosecution of several public corruption cases, including Jonathan Woods, a former Arkansas state senator who was convicted in 2018 of conspiracy, honest services mail and wire fraud and money laundering and was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison. Kees also oversaw the prosecution of many violent armed criminals under the Project Safe Neighborhood initiative and child abusers under the Project Safe Childhood initiative.

"Under Mr. Kees' leadership, both of these initiatives were instrumental in prosecuting some of the most serious criminal offenses in the Western District of Arkansas," the release said.

Kees earned his Juris Doctorate from the University Of Arkansas School Of Law. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate Officer Advanced Course, U.S. Army Judge Advocate Criminal Law Advocacy Course, Advanced Trial Advocacy Course and the U.S. Navy Complex Litigation Course.

Prior to his appointment as the U.S. attorney for the Western District, Kees spent more than eight years on active duty in the U.S. Army, both as an enlisted soldier and a JAG Corps officer. While on active duty, he deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq where he earned two Bronze Stars. As a member of the JAG Corps, he tried cases involving multilevel drug distribution operations and serious violent offenses such as sexual assault and murder and prosecuted crimes involving international law.

The Western District of Arkansas covers 34 counties in Arkansas and includes the cities of Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Harrison, Hot Springs, Texarkana and El Dorado.

Local on 01/14/2020

Print Headline: U.S. attorney for Western District resigns

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