Dakota County has appointed Kathy Keena as its next county attorney. She most recently served as chief deputy in the county’s attorney’s office. She has been acting county attorney since February. The appointment was prompted by the retirement of James Backstrom on Feb. 27. In this post, she will represent the residents of the Dakota area. She joins a staff of nine other attorneys. To learn more about Keena, click here.
Before being named the county attorney, Keena has worked as an assistant to the Ramsey County attorney and was also a district court judge in Dakota County from December 2011 until August 2019.
The Board voted unanimously to name her as a finalist and will conduct an interview. In the meantime, Keena plans to run for county attorney in November 2022. Elizabeth Lamin, an assistant county attorney, is also a candidate for the post.
The Dakota County Attorney’s office is currently looking for candidates to run for the position. The vacancy has been open for 30 years. Former state senator Matt Little, lawyer Jeff Sheridan, and Ramsey County prosecutor Elizabeth Lamin have all announced their intentions to run for the position. Interim Dakota County Attorney Kathryn Keena is currently serving the remainder of Backstrom’s term and is seeking a permanent position.
The Dakota County Attorney’s Office is located at Highway 55, Hastings, MN. You can find the office on the map below or in the surrounding 334.8 miles with our interactive map. The district attorney’s office website also includes 10 external resources. There’s more about the upcoming election on the Dakota County attorney’s website. If you’re interested in becoming the county’s next attorney, check out the information provided above.
The Dakota County Attorney’s Office has an adult diversion program.
The program is open to all adults. If you have a case that requires you to go to court, consider using the program. It may help you get out of jail and avoid being arrested. If you have a past arrest, you can get it reduced to a civil case. However, you will have to go through a court process to qualify. If you’re looking for a better option, check out the new DWI refusal law in Minnesota.
In addition to Keena, there are other candidates for the position. Previously, Thomas Pugh served as Dakota County district court judge from December 2011 to August 2019; his retirement is the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. He plans to continue serving the county, but he is also stepping down to retire for health reasons. In addition to medical issues, he also has a background in criminal justice and is an excellent leader.
While there are many candidates for the position of Dakota County attorney, Keena is the most experienced and talented.
The county attorney’s office has an adult diversion program for those who have juvenile adjudications. Those people who have been adjudicated delinquent for a felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemean offense are no longer excluded from applying for admission. Those who have extended juvenile jurisdiction can’t apply for the program.
As the incumbent, Keena will be the Dakota County attorney for the next three years. She started in the county attorney’s office in 2000 as chief deputy and stepped into the top position on an interim basis in February. The position is currently held by James Backstrom and will be filled until January 2, 2023. While she has a solid record in her field, she is the first woman to hold the position. In the seven-county metro area, other women have been elected as district court judges.
The Dakota County Attorney’s office has been operating an adult diversion program since 1994. In May, she changed the eligibility requirements to include those with juvenile adjudications. As a result, persons who were adjudicated delinquent for a felony or gross misdemean offense are now allowed to participate in the program. The only exception is if a person has extended juvenile jurisdiction. If a person is eligible to join the program, he or she should be able to complete it within two years.