Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez has been an attorney for 25 years. She has served as a special prosecutor for seven years in Wyandotte County, Kansas, handling several high level felony prosecutions. She is the co-author of the book Prosecutorial Ethics Third Edition. She does not shy away from holistic approaches to prosecution, cultural and gender inclusion, and the need for better public health and safety surrounding violent crimes, such as sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking – and that is why many Douglas County residents voted for her.
Valdez chaired the Kansas Crime Victims Compensation Board for nine years, a position to which she was appointed by two different Kansas Attorneys General and twice confirmed by the Kansas Senate. In that role, she participated in providing funds to assist the survivors of violent crimes, observing firsthand the often devastating impacts of such violence inflicted by perpetrators on the lives of victims and their families. In 2013-2018, Valdez served on the Douglas County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) Board.
In 1996 after graduating from the KU School of Law, Valdez began her legal career with Kansas Legal Services in Kansas City, Kansas, representing clients in divorce, protection from abuse cases, and minor criminal defense matters.
When she joined the KU School of Law faculty in 1999, she supervised legal interns in the Douglas County Legal Society, representing clients in family law and landlord-tenant disputes, and defending juvenile and criminal cases.
In 2008, Suzanne served as a Pro Tem District Judge in Douglas County, presiding over the county’s juvenile offender docket and post-divorce motions docket for approximately seven months.
Suzanne Valdez and her family are long-time residents of Douglas County. Her five children have grown up in Lawrence, and she and her husband, Stephen McAllister, and their family, including their pets, live in Lawrence. Valdez is originally from Arizona, where her parents still live.