“It is gratifying to work in the community where I grew up.  Washington County is full of good people whose values I share.  Working together with my colleagues in the Washington County Attorney’s Office, we can build upon the strong foundation that Washington County Attorney Pete Orput established over the last 11 years.  I will continue working to accomplish real justice in the community by holding criminals accountable and empowering victims.

“We need continued leadership that will vigorously and appropriately prosecute violations of the law and act proactively to deter crime. I will work with law enforcement to interrupt criminal activity before it occurs.  At the same time, I understand that justice is not best served by merely collecting convictions.  A good prosecutor does what is necessary to help keep our community safe and prosperous.  For over 22 years, I have worked to uphold the law and to help victims of injustice.  I’ve shown the character and commitment to do the right thing the right way.  I will bring that commitment and energy to the leadership of this office.”

-Kevin Magnuson


Kevin grew up in Lake Elmo. Kevin and his three Native American sisters were adopted by wonderful parents with a deep faith in God and a seemingly limitless capacity to quietly love others. His family shared many blessings but also many challenges. Kevin saw firsthand the different and often scarring treatment that sometimes came with having skin darker than his own. His sister Margaret, who suffered from mental illness, died at the age of 30, sober and clean, but unable to overcome the toll on her body of living for many years on the streets of New York City. Kevin is very proud of the work the Washington County Attorney’s Office, led by Pete Orput, has done to help people with addictions and mental illness.

Kevin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wheaton College in 1990. He took a year off after his freshman year, studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and took a six-month bicycle trip through Western Europe and communist Eastern Europe. Following graduation, Kevin served as an officer in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and medically retired, he pursued a graduate degree in philosophy, studying first at Philipps-Universität Marburg in Germany and later at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, where he received a master’s degree in philosophy.

Kevin studied law at the University of Minnesota and the University of Leuven. After graduating from the U of M law school in 1999, he clerked at the European Commission, Directorate General for Competition, in Brussels. He returned to the Twin Cities to practice in the area of complex civil litigation at the law firms of Briggs and Morgan, and Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, and then for 11 years at the prominent criminal defense firm of Kelley, Wolter & Scott.

Kevin’s breadth of legal experience goes beyond criminal law. His practice included US and European antitrust law, securities fraud, business litigation, election and campaign finance law, attorney ethics and professional responsibility, and appellate advocacy. He has handled cases at every level of the state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kevin’s experience prior to joining the Washington County Attorney’s Office also includes white collar criminal defense, Department of Justice and other federal and state civil and criminal investigations, including by DOJ’s Department of Public Integrity, internal corporate investigations, and attorney professional responsibility disciplinary review. He worked closely with the court-appointed receiver and bankruptcy trustee to search and liquidate assets for the victims and creditors of Tom Petters’ $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme, one of the largest and most complex Ponzi schemes in US history. In addition, throughout his legal career Kevin devoted thousands of hours to pro bono legal work for underserved clients.

After 20 years of practicing law, Kevin joined the Washington County Attorney’s Office. He is in the civil division, providing legal counsel to the County Board, administration, and department leadership on a wide variety of matters, including transit, attorney ethics, redistricting and, until recently, election law, as well as counseling multi-county Joint Powers Boards. He also prosecutes fraud and vulnerable adult cases.

Kevin lives in his childhood home in Lake Elmo with his wife and two children.

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