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The attorney general is one of only four state officers established by the Kansas Constitution. The attorney general is elected statewide and serves a four-year term, beginning on the second Monday of January following his or her election. There are no qualifications to run for attorney general, and there are no term limits for the office.

Duties of the Attorney General

The Person

The attorney general is considered the state’s chief legal officer and top law enforcement official. As authorized by Kansas statutes, the attorney general is a member of the State Board of Canvassers, State Election Board, State Objections Board, State Records Board and State Rules and Regulations Board. The attorney general also is a member of or makes appointments to a number of state councils, committees and task forces.

The Office

The duties of the attorney general’s office include enforcement of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act, Kansas No-Call Act, Kansas Medicaid Fraud Control Act, Kansas False Claims Act, Kansas Open Records Act, Kansas Open Meetings Act and other laws as directed by state statute. The attorney general assists in the investigation and prosecution of criminal acts alongside local law enforcement officials and county and district attorneys. The office administers the Crime Victims Compensation program, the Concealed Carry Licensing program, the Batterer Intervention program, the Private Detective Licensing program, the Roofing Registration program and the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. The attorney general represents the state and its employees in civil lawsuits, and provides legal advice, both formal and informal, to state officers and employees. The office also coordinates statewide efforts to combat human trafficking and to provide services to crime victims.

In addition, the office offers a wealth of information on numerous topics, including public and child safety issues, consumer protection and identity theft.

Organizational Structure

The attorney general’s office is organized into several divisions charged with performing various functions. The divisions include the following:

Civil Litigation Division - handles civil cases on behalf of the state of Kansas, advises state agencies in an effort to avoid costly litigation whenever possible and negotiates settlements under the Kansas Tort Claims Act.

Consumer Protection Division - investigates scams, telemarketing fraud, identity theft and other deceptive practices; mediates and prosecutes violations of consumer protection acts; and provides helpful information to consumers on a variety of topics. The division also includes the Roofing Registration Unit, which certifies roofing contractors’ ability to operate in the state of Kansas under the Kansas Roofing Registration Act.

Criminal Litigation Division - advises and assists county and district attorneys and local law enforcement officials in the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases and represents the state in criminal appeals. The division also includes the Concealed Carry Licensing Unit and Private Detective Licensing Unit, which administer those respective licensing programs.

Crime Victims Compensation Division - provides victims with financial assistance for loss of earnings and out-of-pocket loss for injuries sustained as a direct result of violent crime, including reasonable medical care, mental health counseling or other services necessary as a result of the injury, or in the event of the death of the victim, reasonable medical expenses and the partial cost of funeral, burial or cremation.

Legal Opinions and Government Counsel Division - researches and prepares legal opinions for certain public officials seeking interpretation of state laws, reviews proposed state regulations for legality, enforces the Kansas Open Meetings Act and Kansas Open Records Act, and provides legal advice to professional licensing boards and other governmental agencies.

Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division - investigates and prosecutes health care providers who defraud the Medicaid program and complaints of patient financial or physical abuse and neglect by Medicaid providers.

Victims’ Services Division - works directly with crime victims and witnesses, educates crime victims and community members on victims’ rights, coordinates statewide victims’ service programs and administers a variety of grant programs to victim service agencies. The division also includes the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, which is charged with coordinating statewide efforts to combat human trafficking.

Two independent boards also are organized within the attorney general’s office: the State Child Death Review Board and the Crime Victims Compensation Board.

The attorney general also has established special task forces to specifically target drug manufacturing and trafficking in southern Kansas.

Three formal advisory groups provide input into the areas of the automotive industry, human trafficking and senior consumer protection. The Gang Free Kansas program coordinates anti-gang efforts.

Kansas Bureau of Investigation

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), another division of the attorney general’s office, is the state’s premier criminal investigative agency and is headed by a director appointed by the attorney general and confirmed by the Kansas Senate. The KBI provides professional investigative and forensic laboratory services to criminal justice agencies, and the collection and dissemination of criminal justice information to public and private agencies.

The KBI maintains a website to facilitate public access to Kansas criminal history record checks, as well as information about persons who have been convicted of certain sex, violent and drug offenses (as set forth in the Kansas Offender Registration Act) and persons who are on the Kansas Most Wanted list.