Jim Kanatzar Sworn In As
Jackson County Prosecutor
FEBRUARY 2, 2009 -- Jim Kanatzar was sworn in as Jackson County Prosecutor during the County Legislature's regular meeting today. Upon moving from his role as County Prosecutor to take office as County Executive, Mike Sanders appointed Kanatzar County Prosecutor in January of 2007. Kanatzar won election to the Prosecutor's office in November of last year.
Kanatzar began his career in the Jackson County Prosecutor's office in 1992. Becoming County Prosecutor was the culmination of a career dedicated to the Jackson County Prosecutor's office during which Kanatzar worked in virtually each of the office's units.
As a trial attorney devoted to prosecuting cases generated by the Jackson County Drug Task Force, Kanatzar was responsible for the review, filing and prosecution of more than 200 cases. He began his tenure as a supervising attorney in 1995 when he was named trial team leader for the Domestic Violence Unit. He supervised three assistant prosecutors and was responsible for prosecuting all crimes involving domestic abuse.
That same year Kanatzar was appointed to the homicide committee, a group of seasoned attorneys who review and file homicide cases. His work on this committee brought him experience as lead counsel and second chair on murder cases.
In 1996 Kanatzar was assigned to the prosecutor's office based in Independence, becoming a trial team leader for the Independence Drug Unit. The following year he became the Chief Warrant Officer in Eastern Jackson County. He continued his supervisory role over nine assistant prosecutors responsible for reviewing, filing and prosecuting criminal cases up to the trial stage.
Kanatzar was named one of four Chief Trial Assistants in 1999. As Chief Trial Assistant for Eastern Jackson County, he supervised the Independence Warrant Desk, Independence Drug Unit, Delinquent Tax Unit and the Bad Check Unit. The attorneys he directed were responsible for the review, filing of charges and prosecution of all state misdemeanors and felonies in Eastern Jackson County. Kanatzar was named the Louis Lombardo Prosecutor of the Year in 2000.
After working in private legal practice, Kanatzar returned to the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office in 2002 when he was chosen by his predecessor, Mike Sanders, for the position of Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. He was responsible for the administration of the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office and supervised its 77 assistant prosecuting attorneys and 148 support staff.
In addition to his responsibilities as County Prosecutor, Kanatzar was selected by the Missouri Supreme Court to serve on its Regional Disciplinary Committee for the Greater Kansas City area. The committee reviews complaints regarding attorneys licensed in the state and conducts hearings and recommends disciplinary action.
Kanatzar is a member of the Missouri Bar, where he serves on the Criminal Law Committee, the Governmental Law Committee, the Professionalism and Ethics Committee, and the special task force on the unauthorized practice of law. He is also a member of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, Eastern Jackson County Bar Association and the Kansas Bar.