News and Press Releases

Kenneth Magidson Sworn in as 22nd United States Attorney for the SDTX

Sept. 30, 2011

HOUSTON – Kenneth Magidson has been formally sworn in by Senior United States District Judge David Hittner as the 22nd presidentially-appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas (SDTX) and began his duties immediately. As the United States Attorney for the SDTX, Magidson is the chief law enforcement officer responsible for prosecuting and defending the interests of the United States in the seventh largest district in the nation.

Magidson, of Houston, took the oath of office at 2:30 p.m. today before an audience including Judge Hittner’s staff, Assistant United States Attorneys and staff as well as Magidson’s wife.
President Obama nominated Magidson to serve as U.S. Attorney for this district on June 28, 2011, upon the recommendation of United States Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison. The full Senate unanimously confirmed his appointment on Monday, Sept. 26, 2011.  

Magidson brings a wide range of qualifications and nearly 30 years of federal law enforcement experience to his new position, serving as an Assistant United States Attorney in the SDTX since 1983. For most of that time, he served as the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Regional Coordinator for the Southwest Region, which includes all of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and the Central and Southern Districts of California and encompasses 11 federal judicial districts. The OCDETF program targets the most significant drug trafficking and related money laundering organizations operating in the United States. Previously, as chief of the Narcotics Division, he supervised assigned Assistant United States Attorneys in addition to his regional OCDETF coordination duties.    

In 2008, Magidson was called upon to serve as the Harris County District Attorney upon appointment of the Texas Governor, Rick Perry. As the District Attorney of the third most populous county in the United States, he managed an office with more than 300 prosecutors and investigators.  

Cognizant of his experience and accomplishments, the Department of Justice asked Magidson to serve under then Attorney General Janet Reno as the director for the Executive Office for OCDETF in Washington, D.C., from May 1996 through May 1997. In that role, he was responsible for a broad range of management, financial and administrative duties and supervised a staff consisting of professional and support staff deemed necessary for performing the duties of the office. 

Prior to his federal career, Magidson served as an Assistant District Attorney in Harris County, Texas. During that time, he served as the chief felony prosecutor in the 177th District Court  and was responsible for the prosecution of major felony crimes including capital murders, rapes, robberies, burglaries, kidnappings and more.

Magidson graduated from the University of Maryland and holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston.

The SDTX, 7th largest in terms of personnel, prosecutes more cases against more defendants than any other USAO nationwide, representing 43 counties and 8.3 million people and covering 44,000 square miles. This district currently comprises seven U.S. District Court divisions with federal district courts in Houston, Galveston, Victoria, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, McAllen and Laredo. The United States Attorney's office, headquartered in Houston, has five additional branch offices in Corpus Christi, Brownsville, McAllen, Laredo and Victoria to staff all seven divisions.

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