The District Attorney’s Office will protect the safety of the public through a fair application of the law. The office seeks to achieve this by implementing the following values:
- Earn and maintain public trust by exhibiting personal integrity and professionalism,
- Advocate for victims’ rights,
- Cooperate with partner agencies,
- Responsibly manage public funds, and
- Treat all individuals with fairness and sensitivity.
Steve Howe is a native Kansan, growing up in Salina. Steve graduated from Washburn University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Criminal Justice and Political Science in 1985. Shortly after graduation, he entered Washburn Law School with a goal of becoming a prosecutor. This led to his internships in the office of then Kansas Attorney General Robert Stephan and in the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office.
Steve graduated from the Washburn University School of Law in 1988. Following graduation, Steve honed his prosecutorial skills as an assistant district attorney in Shawnee County. Steve's record of performance in Shawnee County led to his becoming an assistant district attorney in Johnson County in 1991, where he prosecuted a myriad of cases touching on virtually all aspects of criminal law. During those 15 years, he supervised several units within the office and was instrumental in the establishment of the office’s consumer fraud/white collar investigation unit in 2002. He is a widely recognized expert in the prosecution of those who abuse dependent and elder adults and his expertise in this area led to appearances before the Kansas Legislature while spearheading the successful passage of legislation protecting the most vulnerable in our community.
Steve left the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office in early 2007 and entered private practice with The Jones Law Firm in Overland Park, Kansas. Unable to shake his passion for justice, Steve continued to prosecute violations of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act through civil actions against those who seek to take advantage of his fellow Kansans. In 2008, with 18 years of experience as a prosecutor, scores of prosecutions and over 90 jury trials, Steve successfully ran for and was elected Johnson County District Attorney. After 4 years as District Attorney, Steve ran unopposed in both 2012 and 2016. Now, in his third term, he is continuing to work with law enforcement and partner agencies to provide better service to victims and witnesses.
In 2010, with the assistance of law enforcement, S.R.S. and medical professionals, Steve established Financial Abuse Specialist Teams (F.A.S.T.) to quickly identify, react to, and investigate elder abuse.
Since 2011, Steve has been on the Board of Directors for the Kansas County and District Attorney’s Association.
In response to domestic violence in the community, Steve implemented the first Kansas lethality assessment in 2011. This has been proven to be an effective tool in identifying and reducing domestic violence in Johnson County.
Steve has also spearheaded several legislative changes to help make the people of Johnson County safe, including, in 2012, by combating habitual DUI offenders by criminalizing refusals to take breath tests. In 2013, in reaction to a U.S. Supreme Court decision, he helped lead a call for a special session of the Kansas Legislature which helps keep murderers who have received a “Hard 50” sentence behind bars. With each legislative session, Steve has testified dozens of times in an effort to keep people safe.
Steve and members of his staff take pride in spending time at various public outreach events and fundraisers. In 2013, Steve was asked to chair a capital campaign to expand Safehome’s domestic violence shelter. He is on the Board of Directors for Sunflower House, a child advocacy center and in 2014 he was nominated to serve as Secretary of the Judicial Nominating Committee. Steve also speaks frequently to a wide range of public and private groups on a variety of topics.
A Johnson County resident since 1991, Steve is committed to providing an effective and efficient office focused on protecting the people of Johnson County. Steve resides in Shawnee with his wife Cyndi and their four children.