Lawrence, KS -- Today, January 11, 2021 at 8:30 a.m., Suzanne Valdez was sworn into office as Douglas County's new District Attorney. Douglas County Deputy District Attorneys Joshua Seiden and David Melton, who were both appointed by Valdez, were also sworn in.
Referencing county records dating back to 1910, Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez is the first woman of color and the second woman to hold the position. Valdez is the first person who is a Latina woman and the first person who is Hispanic to serve in the position. She is the seventh Democrat to hold the office out of 23 district attorneys for the county.
Pictured from left to right is Deputy District Attorney David Melton, District Attorney Suzanne Valdez, and Deputy District Attorney Joshua Seiden on January 11, 2021.
Chief Judge James R. McCabria swore in each person. Douglas County County Clerk Jamie Shew administered the Swear In Ceremony and was sworn in himself. The City Commission’s Special Meeting and Swear-In Ceremony was streamed publicly online via Zoom.
Later in the day, other prosecuting attorneys in the District Attorney’s Office were sworn in by Chief Judge James R. McCabria:
- Ted Baird
- Andy Bausch
- Katy Briton
- Emily Hartz
- Eve Kemple
- Jon Simpson
- Will Votypka
- Alice Walker
- Hannah Wittman
Pictured is the Douglas County district attorney, deputy district attorneys, and eight other prosecuting attorneys sworn into office on January 11, 2021.
The following was Valdez's platform and are some initiatives of her office:
- Will consult with Douglas County community leaders across a range of constituencies to determine what information they would like provided by the Office, and then create a process for collecting and sharing data on a regular basis.
- Will establish an Advisory Panel consisting of members of law enforcement, the defense bar, and interested community shareholders to meet with Suzanne and the Office to discuss any questions or potential concerns about the Office.
- Will establish a transparent and readily accessible Discovery Policy that ensures all defendants are provided with timely and comprehensive investigative information regarding their case files.
- Will, during her first year in Office, conduct listening sessions with stakeholder groups across the County.
- Will prepare an Annual DA’s Office Report, based on the calendar year, to provide meaningful statistics and information, for the benefit of interested constituents and members of the public.
For more information, contact Douglas County District Attorney's Office Public Information Officer Lucca Wang at email@example.com.