FORT SMITH – United States Attorney Duane (DAK) Kees, of Bentonville, Arkansas, has announced his resignation effective midnight January 17, 2020. After his resignation, Mr. Kees will enter the private sector in Arkansas.
During his tenure as United States Attorney, Mr. Kees served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee and was chair of the Veterans’ Rights Subcommittee. Mr. Kees was responsible for opening a newly staffed office in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The Hot Springs office has enabled the United States Attorney’s Office to better serve the communities and counties in Southern Arkansas.
As United States Attorney, Mr. Kees oversaw the prosecution of several public corruption cases, including United States v. Jonathan Woods, et al. Jonathan Woods, a former Arkansas State Senator, was convicted in 2018 of conspiracy, honest services mail and wire fraud and money laundering and was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison. Mr. Kees also oversaw the prosecution of many violent armed criminals under the Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) initiative and child abusers under the Project Safe Childhood (PSC) 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.
Mr. 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 well as the U.S. Navy Complex Litigation Course.
Prior to his appointment as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, Mr. Kees spent more than eight years on active duty in the United States Army, both as an enlisted soldier and a Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps officer. While on active duty, Mr. Kees deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq where he earned two Bronze Stars. As a member of the JAG Corps, Mr. Kees tried cases involving multi-level drug distribution operations and serious violent offenses such as sexual assault and murder. He also prosecuted crimes involving international law.
Upon leaving active duty, Mr. Kees joined the Asa Hutchinson Law Group, PLC in Bentonville, Arkansas, where he continued to represent service members stationed throughout the world. Mr. Kees also developed a complex litigation practice centered on business litigation and international law.
After leaving the private practice of law, Mr. Kees was a Director in Global Ethics and Compliance for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. He was responsible for Global Ethics and Compliance functions related to case management and governance of corporate ethics policies, with a particular focus on matters relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.K. Bribery Act and general Anti-Corruption Compliance issues.
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. The United States Attorney’s Office, with staffed offices in Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Hot Springs, and Texarkana, has 20 attorneys and is responsible for conducting all criminal and civil litigation in the district involving the United States government.