U.S. Attorney for Western District of Arkansas set to leave for Tyson job


by Doug Thompson, Arkansas Democrat Gazette (AR)

Jan 14, 2020


FAYETTEVILLE -- U.S. Attorney Duane "Dak" Kees of Bentonville, whose office convicted or helped convict six former state legislators, is stepping down after two years to accept a job with Tyson Foods Inc.


The resignation will take effect at midnight Friday. Kees didn't disclose which position he will take, but spokesman Worth Sparkman of Tyson Foods Inc. confirmed his new title Monday afternoon. Kees will become the Springdale-based company's chief counsel for global investigations and regulatory compliance. Kees filled a similar role for Walmart Inc. in the past.


 Tyson, the nation's largest producer of chicken, beef and pork, resumed exports to China after the government there lifted a five-year ban on imported U.S. chicken in November.


"To date it was the greatest job I've ever had and -- other than my wife and kids and service in uniform -- the greatest honor of my life" to be U.S. attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, Kees said in a telephone interview Monday.


Kees spent more than eight years on active duty in the U.S. Army and was a judge advocate general corps officer. He served in Afghanistan and Iraq.


The Western District covers 34 of Arkansas' 75 counties and stretches from the Missouri border to the Louisiana state line. Assistant U.S. Attorney Clay Fowlkes will take over on an interim basis after he leaves, Kees said.


U.S. attorneys are appointed by the president. There are 93 such offices covering the United States and its territories. They are subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate and are appointed for four-year terms.


There is no set timetable for appointing a replacement. For instance, Kees' immediate predecessor...