U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister Steps Down Effective February 28
TOPEKA, KS (STL.News) As requested by the Biden Administration of all presidentially-appointed U.S. Attorneys, United States Attorney for the District of Kansas, Stephen R. McAllister, is resigning his position, effective February 28. McAllister sent his resignation letter to the President earlier this week, expressing gratitude for the opportunity to serve the United States and Kansas in the U.S. Attorney role, and wishing the President every success as he leads the country. First Assistant U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard will become Acting U.S. Attorney following McAllister’s departure.
McAllister said: “I am leaving what many have rightly described as ‘the best lawyer job there is,’ and I am doing so with great respect for those who work daily to maintain the rule of law in our country. I commend not just the dedicated prosecutors and civil lawyers in my office, but also the conscientious judges, the tireless defense attorneys, and the many brave, selfless women and men who serve in a wide variety of law enforcement positions. Serving as U.S. Attorney has been the highest professional honor of my life and career.”
For the immediate future, McAllister plans to return to the University of Kansas School of Law, where he was a professor for 25 years before becoming U.S. Attorney.
McAllister’s 37-month tenure as U.S. Attorney included some high profile trials and convictions, including three men who plotted to blow up an apartment complex in Garden City inhabited by Somali, Muslim immigrants, a doctor in Wichita who prescribed opioids to addicted persons resulting in at least one overdose death, and the “swatter” from California whose hoax call to Wichita emergency authorities in December 2017 resulted in the fatal shooting of an innocent man on his front porch.
McAllister’s tenure also saw a renewed emphasis on federal and local law enforcement cooperation to fight violent crime, with significant assistance and support from Senator Jerry Moran and his staff. These efforts were supported by substantial new resources and programs flowing into Kansas and the Kansas City region, including the Public Safety Partnership program in Wichita, the creation of the Crime Gun Intelligence Center at Wichita State University, and the establishment of an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Strike Force in the Kansas City metro region that works cooperatively across state lines, brings together numerous federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in one location, and has the ability to conduct investigations that reach even outside U.S. borders.
Under McAllister’s leadership and with favorable budget circumstances, the office did more hiring than had been possible in a long time, bringing on board approximately a dozen new attorneys and about the same number of support staff, filling some positions that long had been vacant, and bringing the District to almost full staffing for the first time in decades. The District’s Civil Division is in a stronger position than ever, and the Criminal Division has the most prosecutors in its history.
McAllister personally drove the reopening of a longstanding, unsolved cold case, the death of Alonzo Brooks, who disappeared after a farmhouse party close to La Cygne, Kansas in April 2004, and was found dead in a nearby creek almost a month later. In his post-U.S. Attorney life, McAllister plans to continue to support efforts to pursue and solve cold cases by working collaboratively with law enforcement and perhaps even establishing a nonprofit entity to financially support and further such investigations.