Mattivi confirmed as new KBI director

Tony Mattivi has been confirmed as the 13th director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI).
Tony Mattivi has been confirmed as the 13th director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI).(Kansas Bureau of Investigation)
Updated: Feb. 9, 2023 at 5:05 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Tony Mattivi officially took his oath as the 13th Director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, one day after the senate confirmed his pick.

Nominated by Attorney General Kris Kobach in January 2023, Kobach shared his thoughts on Mattivi joining his team.

“The Senate’s confirmation of Tony Mattivi as KBI Director is a reflection and recognition of his exceptional career in law enforcement. He will be a great asset to the state of Kansas in his new role, and I am honored to have him as a leading member of my team,” said Attorney General Kris Kobach.

Washburn’s KBI Forensic Science Center was packed as AG Kris Kobach introduced Mattivi, stating Mattivi will be a great asset to the state of Kansas in his new role.

“As things moved along and we came into the general election I started thinking about the opening of the position for KBI Director it was obvious to me that this would be a perfect fit and that Tony would be able to do great things with this agency. Indeed I would say Tony is born for this job,” said Kobach.

For over 20 years, Director Mattivi served as a federal prosecutor — prosecuting drug trafficking, violent crime, racketeering, organized crime, gangs, money laundering and terrorism cases. In the 2000 capital case against the al Qaeda operative who masterminded the bombing of the USS Cole, Mattivi was the lead prosecutor. He also worked for the U.S. Department of Justice’s (USDOJ) Regime Crimes Liaison Office in Iraq, advising the Iraqi High Tribunal as they tried members of Saddam Hussein’s regime for committing war crimes.

Mattivi was part of the prosecution team who convicted three Kansas militia members for plotting to slaughter Somali Muslim immigrants living and worshipping at an apartment building and mosque in Garden City. He also prosecuted Terry Lee Loewen, a former U.S. Marine who attempted to detonate high explosives at the Wichita airport on behalf of al Qaeda, and John T. Booker, who conspired to detonate a truck bomb at Fort Riley in support of ISIS.

Over the years, he also worked for the Kansas Attorney General’s Office, the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office, and as legal counsel for Medcor, an international healthcare company.

Mattivi is an alumnus of the Metropolitan State College of Denver, and Washburn University School of Law. He was the Antiterrorism and National Security Coordinator for the District of Kansas, and recently served as president of the Federal Bar Association chapter of Kansas and Western Missouri.

“We have a lot of challenges in law enforcement in Kansas right now, the KBI is a very unique organization. I’ve said many times we’re under-staffed, under-resourced and over-assigned and there are some real challenges over the horizon with the explosion of internet crime, especially internet crime against children and the elderly and the fentanyl, the looming fentanyl crisis,” said Mattivi.

Mattivi says the day was extra special with his family able to attend before his son’s deployment in a few days.

“I’m grateful to the attorney general for the chance I’m also grateful for how welcomed everyone in this organization has made me feel, I know this is going to be a good fit and I’m excited for the opportunity to accomplish a lot of good things for the citizens of Kansas. Under my leadership, the Bureau will be committed to aggressively investigating criminal activity while upholding the integrity, professionalism, and objectivity that makes it a valued resource to Kansas law enforcement,” said Mattivi. “Our absolute priority will be to work hard each day for Kansas citizens, and to assist law enforcement, prosecutors, and our criminal justice partners who rely on the expertise and services the KBI produces every day.”