Pennington County commissioners feel they “needed to take immediate action” to fill State’s Attorney Mark Vargo’s position
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo has resigned, so county commissioners have been looking for a successor. Vargo put in his letter of resignation February 23 with the effective date of April 24.
Nearing the end of the process, county commissioners actually put it on their agenda for the March 21 meeting to decide who is going to fill the position.
Hiring the next county state’s attorney is a responsibility placed on the board of county commissioners by South Dakota Codified Law 3-4-3.
“With that notice, the commission felt it was needed to take immediate action because with the short time period of two months. We needed a replacement right away,” Lloyd LaCroix, chair of the Pennington County Board of Commissioners, said.
According to the chair of the Board of Commissioners, two former employees came forward wanting the position. The board sat down with the two in an executive session on Feb. 24, and reviewed what the job is and the responsibilities of the position and the State’s Attorney’s Office, which is a regular agenda item under Human Resources (17b).
“We feel it’s very important to get it filled as quickly as possible,” LaCroix said. “There’s a heavy caseload up there and we need someone who can get in there and work with the police department, sheriff’s department, the court systems and jump in with the workload to keep our justice system moving like it should.”
Working with Vargo:
LaCroix says that he’s enjoyed working with Vargo and he’s accomplished a number of things in his time at Pennington County State’s Attorney.
“He really stuck up for his employees and the department. He worked diligently to be fair and equitable to all,” LaCroix said. “I think his office has done a fantastic job and they’re moving in the right direction. He’s created some diversion programs that are working. Doing work with not only the native community, but also the the youth in our community, the veterans and some others. So, there’s some great things that have happened up there in the last four or five years. I think as a commission, we want to see that continue, and so that would be one of the things we look at for the replacement of Mr. Vargo.”