SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The man who led the prosecution against Jason Ravnsborg will now be the state’s acting attorney general.
On Tuesday, Gov. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) named Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo as Ravnsborg’s replacement. Ravnsborg was impeached by the House in April and convicted by the Senate last week.
Vargo, who has more than 30 years of professional and public legal experience, was the lead for the prosecution against Ravnsborg in the Senate trial.
“Mark Vargo returns integrity, experience and stability to the Attorney General’s Office,” Noem said in an emailed statement. “He is an outstanding prosecutor who has the respect of law enforcement agencies and prosecutors statewide. Mark will provide the leadership the office needs until the next Attorney General is elected in November and takes office in January.”
Former AG Marty Jackley earned the Republican nomination last weekend by defeating David Natvig, the current state Division of Criminal Investigation director, 52.68% to 47.32%.
Charles McGuigan, who is the chief deputy attorney general, has been serving in the role of AG since Ravnsborg’s impeachment.
Vargo will serve as Attorney General through Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. The new Attorney General is scheduled to be sworn in Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023.
In a news release, Vargo said he was humbled and privileged to serve as AG. He said he plans to return to the Pennington County State’s Attorney office after his time is done. Vargo also added he continues to support Jackley and added Jackley joined Noem in asking him to serve until a new AG is elected.
Ravsnborg attended Monday’s Government Accountability Board meeting and spoke to the board about two ethics complaints against Noem.
“I believe these are legitimate and I think the actions of the Government Accountability Board show that they’re legitimate,” Ravnsborg said. “All other complaints the GAB has ever received have been dismissed very quickly in the process and that these have made those couple of hurdles and are showing that we’re acting in good faith.”