Tom received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Kansas in 1988, and his Law Degree from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1990. He was an Assistant Saline County Attorney from 1991 to 1995 and served as First Assistant Saline County Attorney from 1995 to 2001. Tom served as Deputy Reno County District Attorney from 2001 through May 2020, and was appointed District Attorney of Reno County, Kansas, beginning June 1, 2020. He was previously cross designated as a Special Assistant United States Attorney. Tom was a founding member of the Reno County Drug Court and acted as the Drug Court Prosecutor from its first session in March of 2013 until May of 2020.
Tom has held the following positions during his career: Past President of the Kansas County District. Attorneys Association (KCDAA) for two terms; President of the Kansas Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (KADEC); President of the Kansas Prosecutors Foundation; and former Chief of the Legal Staff for Kansas Top Gun. Tom has received the following awards/recognition in his career: Governor’s Certificate of Recognition in the Fight Against Illegal Drugs in Kansas in 1997; Kansas Prosecutor of the Year in 2005 (presented by the KCDAA); Outstanding Drug Endangered Children Leadership Award in 2006 (presented by the KADEC); Prosecutor of the Year in 2017 (presented by the Kansas Narcotics Officers Association); and KCDAA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.
Formerly the county attorney, the office was established as that of the district attorney by a legislative act in 1999. The district attorney’s office prosecutes criminal and selected civil matters referred from five police departments, the Reno County Sheriff’s office, the Kansas Highway Patrol, and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. 1,517 law enforcement reports were logged into the office in 2002. 182 additional misdemeanor worthless check complaints were logged into the office by private citizens in 2002.
The office services approximately 65,000 citizens spread throughout 15 communities in an area of 1,365 square miles.
In 2002, the office filed 1,291 adult criminal cases, 418 juvenile offender cases, 253 Child in Need of Care petitions, 34 drug asset forfeiture cases, and 127 Care and Treatment cases. Additionally, the office handled 225 juvenile diversion cases, 44 appellate briefs, and was responsible for 6,143 traffic cases filed in the district court. The 27th Judicial District was ranked as the second busiest in Kansas based on caseload per judge in 2002.