BREAKING: Governor Noem appoints Mark Vargo as Attorney General

June 28, 2022

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem has appointed Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo as Attorney General effective today.

“Mark Vargo returns integrity, experience and stability to the Attorney General’s Office,” said Governor Noem. “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.”

Vargo has more than 30 years of professional and public legal experience. He graduated from Princeton University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and earned his law degree with honors from Georgetown Law Center in 1988. He has served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Florida’s Dade County, Assistant United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota and has been Pennington County State’s Attorney since 2013. He was nominated in 2010 for a U.S. Department of Justice’s Director’s Award and was named the South Dakota Prosecutor of the Year in 2015. Vargo has been active in the Rapid City area serving as an adjunct professor, high school debate coach and youth soccer coach.

Last week, Vargo was the lead prosecutor in the Senate impeachment trial against the former attorney general.

“I am honored to have been asked by Governor Noem to serve as the Attorney General,” said Vargo. “I have worked closely with the Attorney General’s office in the past and have a high respect for the abilities of the staff. My goal is to provide office members the necessary support so they can keep doing their job and honoring the rule of law for the citizens of South Dakota.”

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.