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U.S. Attorney in Kansas City Plans No Major Changes
Posted By Stephanie Woodrow On March 5, 2010 @ 1:39 pm In News | Comments Disabled
Beth Phillips, the new U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, has no plans to make any big changes to the office, The Kansas City Star reported . Phillips, who was sworn in  Dec. 31., will take her ceremonial oath of office at a 3 p.m. event Friday at the Charles Evans Whittaker Courthouse in Kansas City, Mo.
“I think the office is well suited to pursue the priorities identified by the administration,” Phillips told The Star. “I’m not a great believer in change for the sake of change.” She had been an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the office since mid 2008.
She said that counterterrorism, human trafficking, child exploitation and firearms crimes also will be priorities in her Kansas City-based office. Phillips told the newspaper she also plans to add a new lawyer to the district’s mortgage fraud unit which “will allow us to put an ever greater emphasis on those prosecutions.”
Phillips has a “low-key style,” evident in the fact that she has yet to hold a news conference and prepared statements released by her office have been limited, according to the newspaper.
During an interview with The Star, Phillips, a career trial lawyer, said, “I really enjoy presenting cases to juries.” Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick A. McInerney told the newspaper Phillips’ career as a prosecutor and private plaintiff’s lawyer will translate well to her current job. “The issues in the office are raised in the context of criminal prosecutions and trials,” McInerney told The Star. “That will help her make well-founded decisions.”
Jackson County, Kan., Prosecutor Jim Kanatzar, who supervised Phillips when she prosecuted sexual assault cases described Phillips her as “intelligent and talented.” He told The Star, “It’s extremely reassuring to me to know she will be the United States Attorney,” adding, “She’s an excellent advocate for women and children.”
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