FORT SMITH (AP) — An executive at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has been confirmed as the U.S. Attorney for western Arkansas.
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed Duane Kees, who goes by the nickname “Dak.” Kees is 42 and has been the director of global ethics and compliance at Wal-Mart.
U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton recommended Kees, and President Donald Trump nominated Kees in September. The Senate Judiciary Committee gave its approval last week.
“Dak Kees has led a distinguished career in service to our country. He is well prepared for this new role to enforce and uphold our nation’s laws. I look forward to working with him to combat crime and make our communities safer,” Boozman said.
“I congratulate Dak Kees on his confirmation as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas. Dak brings extensive experience as a public servant and a deeply held belief in the rule of law. He will be an effective law-enforcement officer for the people of Arkansas,” Cotton said.
Kees is an Army veteran who in his military career has served as a brigade judge advocate and a senior defense attorney.
His district covers 34 counties and stretches from Texarkana and El Dorado to Fayetteville and Fort Smith, according to Arkansas Talk Business & Politics.
Kees will 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 percent 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.