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AG Derek Schmidt appoints Wichita attorney to lead Crime Victims Compensation Board

Release Date: Aug 09, 2018

TOPEKA – (August 9, 2018) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today nominated Richard Samaniego of Wichita to serve as chair of the state’s Crime Victims Compensation Board.

If confirmed by the Kansas Senate, Samaniego will replace current Crime Victims Compensation Board Chair Suzanne Valdez, of Lawrence, who is retiring from the board this month. Valdez has served as the board’s chair since 2010.

“I am truly grateful for Suzanne Valdez’s years of dedicated service to victims of violent crime in Kansas, and I am confident Richard Samaniego will carry on that high tradition of selfless public service,” Schmidt said.

Samaniego is an attorney with Gibson Watson Marino LLC, where he practices family law, estate planning and probate law and represents municipalities in South Central Kansas. He previously represented corporate and nonprofit organizations, including the Kansas County and District Attorneys Association, before the Kansas Legislature and other state government agencies.

Samaniego is active in the Wichita Bar Association, including serving as chair of its Legislative Committee. He is also a member of the Kansas Bar Association, the East Wichita Rotary Club and the Wichita Crime Commission. He received a bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Texas and his law degree from Washburn University School of Law.

The state’s three-member Crime Victims Compensation Board determines claims by victims of violent crime who are eligible for financial assistance through the Crime Victims Compensation program. The program was established in 1978 to help crime victims pay for their unexpected expenses such as medical treatment, mental health counseling, lost wages, dependent support and funeral expenses. It is funded by a portion of assessed court costs and fines, inmate wages, parole fees and restitution paid by convicted offenders as well as by federal funds.

The board is supported by staff in the Division of Crime Victims Compensation in Schmidt’s office. By law, the board chair must be an attorney.

For more information about the Crime Victims Compensation program call (785) 296-2359 or visit the attorney general’s website at www.ag.ks.gov/cvcb.

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