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Duane A. Kees, known as Dak, was sworn in Friday as the United States attorney for the Western District of Arkansas.

Kees was nominated Sept. 28 by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 20.

Kees took the oath of office at 4 p.m. Friday from Chief U.S. District Judge P.K. Holmes III and began work immediately after the ceremony, according to a news release from Kees' office.

"I look forward to working with law enforcement to ensure the safety of the citizens of Arkansas," he said.

As U.S. attorney, Kees is the top-ranking federal law enforcement official in the Western District.

Kees oversees a staff of 41 employees, including 21 attorneys, according to the release. 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 country.

Born in Little Rock, Kees is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and University of Arkansas School of Law. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2001 and rose to the rank of captain while earning numerous awards and decorations, according to the release.

During his military career, Kees served as a legal assistance attorney, trial counsel, brigade judge advocate and senior defense attorney. He currently serves with the Arkansas National Guard at Camp Robinson in Little Rock and holds the rank of major.

Kees was deployed to Afghanistan for a year and served a 15-month rotation in Iraq.

Kees most recently worked as an ethics and compliance director at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. He focused on corporate investigations for the Bentonville-based retailer, according to a news release the White House sent out in September. Kees was officially director of global ethics governance,

From 2009-13, Kees was a partner in the Asa Hutchinson Law Group, where Asa Hutchinson practiced law before he became governor in 2015.

Metro on 01/06/2018

Print Headline: New U.S. attorney in district sworn in

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