Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

DECEMBER 31, 2009



            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips was sworn in today as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri following her appointment by President Obama and unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

            As U.S. Attorney, Phillips is the top-ranking federal law enforcement official in the Western District of Missouri, which includes Kansas City, St. Joseph, Columbia, Jefferson City, and Springfield. She oversees a staff of 132 employees, including 66 attorneys and 66 non-attorney support personnel. The office is responsible for prosecuting federal crimes in the district, including crimes related to terrorism, public corruption, child exploitation, firearms, and narcotics. The office also defends the United States in civil cases and collects debts owed to the United States.

            Phillips is the 32nd presidentially-appointed U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Missouri, and the first woman to be appointed to the office.

            “I am extremely honored to serve in this capacity,” Phillips said. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Missouri has been in the forefront nationwide in prosecuting human trafficking, child exploitation, mortgage fraud and firearms crimes. I look forward to working with the professional attorneys and staff, as well as with our partner law enforcement agencies throughout the state.”

            Phillips, 40, was appointed in August 2008 as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the office’s Computer Crimes and Child Exploitation Unit, where she has prosecuted child exploitation crimes and served as the Project Safe Childhood Coordinator. She has been a trial attorney during her entire legal career, serving as Assistant Prosecutor in Jackson County, Mo., from June 1997 to August 2001, and in private practice from September 2001 to February 2008 with a Kansas City-area firm, where she represented plaintiffs in medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and product liability lawsuits. As a trial attorney, Phillips has tried approximately 40 cases to verdict, 90 percent of which were jury trials.


            She served on the board of directors of the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA), a non-profit organization that exists to lessen the ill effects of sexual assault and violence through intervention, advocacy, education and treatment. She also served on the board of directors of the Child Protection Center, a child advocacy center that conducts forensic interviews and provides crisis intervention to children who have disclosed sexual abuse and their families.

            Phillips is a native Missourian and fourth-generation graduate of the Milan, Missouri, school district. After earning a bachelor of arts degree and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago, Phillips earned her juris doctor from the University of Missouri in 1996. She is married to Brent Powell, a native of Springfield. They reside in Kansas City, Mo.


This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at