President Donald Trump has nominated Wal-Mart Stores official Duane “Dak” Kees for the position of U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas.
Kees is director of global ethics governance, anti-corruption at Wal-Mart, and has worked for the retailer since 2014.
Talk Business & Politics reported in June Kees was being considered for the job.
“Congratulations to Dak Kees on his nomination as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas,” Jay Jorgensen, Wal-Mart’s Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, said in a statement provided to Talk Business & Politics. “Dak is an accomplished attorney and advisor who has delivered strong results as a respected member of Walmart’s ethics team. We are proud that he has been selected for this important role. He will do an outstanding job.”
Born in Little Rock, Kees 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.
During his military career, Kees served as a legal assistance attorney, trial counsel, brigade judge advocate and senior defense attorney.
He was deployed to Afghanistan for a year and served a 15-month rotation in Iraq.
“Dak’s strong investigative skills and extensive hands-on experience handling complex litigation in criminal courtrooms make him an excellent nominee for U.S. Attorney for the Western District,” U.S. Sen. John Boozman, Arkansas’ senior Republican senator, said in a statement. “His service as an Army JAG officer is a unique quality that strengthens his case by bringing additional skillsets to the office.
“Senator [Tom] Cotton and I will work with our colleagues to get Dak’s nomination, as well as Cody Hiland’s nomination for the Eastern District post, approved by the Senate as quickly as possible. We want to get them on the job quickly so they can begin working to make our communities safer.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) Western District of Arkansas includes 34 counties stretching from Texarkana and El Dorado to Fayetteville and Fort Smith. It is responsible for representing the federal government in virtually all litigation for this district. This includes criminal prosecutions for violations of federal law, civil lawsuits by and against the government, and actions to collect judgments and restitution on behalf of victims and taxpayers.
“This is a strong choice,” Sen. Cotton said of Kees’ nomination. “Dak Kees has a keen legal mind, a record of military service, and a deeply held commitment to our state. I’m confident he’ll serve the people of Arkansas well while also upholding the rule of law. I thank him and his family for accepting the call to serve.”
Kees would potentially fill a post that’s been vacant since August 2015 when Connor Eldridge resigned. Eldridge would soon after announce his bid for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Boozman in the 2016 general election. Boozman defeated Eldridge with 59.7% of the vote.
Kenneth Elser has served as acting U.S. Attorney for the district since August 2015.
Nominations for the politically-appointed post are sent by the state’s U.S. Senators to the White House for vetting and approval. Such approval includes background checks by the Department of Justice.