Press "Enter" to skip to content

Vargo Hires Specialists for MMIP and Human Trafficking; Jackley Approves

In 2021, the Legislature passed a law requiring the Attorney General’s office to hire a specialist to focus on the problem of missing and murdered indigenous people. Killer Jason Ravnsborg ignored that law for over a year. Attorney General Mark Vargo needed five months to get around to hiring an MMIP coordinator:

Allison Morrisette assumed her duties as the state’s inaugural Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Coordinator on Monday, Nov. 28. An enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe, Morrisette last served as Adult Diversion Coordinator for the Pennington County State’s Attorney. “I am excited to begin this work,” said Morrisette. “A lot of my relatives feel they are overlooked. My job with the Attorney General’s Office is to ensure that is not true. In my culture we live by the words, Mitakuye Oyasin, which means ‘all my relations’ or ‘we are all related.’ I carry that belief with me into this new role” [Office of the Attorney General, press release, 2022.11.30].

A.G. Vargo also announced the hiring of Mary Beth Holzwarth as the state Human Trafficking Coordinator (hmmm… might want to add “Prevention” to that title, just to make sure Republican yucks don’t get confused and start calling for hookups). Vargo also gives space in his official press release to let A.G.-Elect Marty Jackley express his approval of these hires:

Attorney General-elect Marty Jackley agreed: “Allison Morrisette’s proven ability to work with different law enforcement agencies and Native communities will be a powerful asset furthering our commitment to serving all South Dakotans,” he said. “Mary Beth Holzwarth’s long track record of advocating for children will be a needed and powerful tool in our fight against human trafficking” [Office of the A.G., 2022.11.30].

Nice to see the current A.G. follows the law better than the previous one, and nice to see that short-termer Vargo is helping the new0old guy transition smoothly back into the office.

11 Comments

  1. Mark Anderson 2022-12-01 14:10

    Allison Morrisette, isn’t it almost ironic?

  2. e platypus onion 2022-12-01 14:32

    Nice try, Mr Anderson.

  3. Kurt Evans 2022-12-01 15:48

    Cory writes:

    … nice to see that short-termer Vargo is helping the new0old guy transition smoothly back into the office.

    >

    Rainbows and unicorns.

    Governor Noem’s DPS secretary Craig Price is a rabid Marty Jackley supporter, and Mark Vargo is Marty Jackley’s hand puppet.

    From the Argus Leader:

    That’s because [Mark Vargo] was part of the original team of state’s attorneys that Hyde County Deputy State’s Attorney Emily Sovell used in determining what charges should be brought [against Jason Ravnsborg]…

    Vargo has declined to talk about why he was not part of Sovell’s team when she announced the misdemeanor charges, nor whether he thought more severe charges were merited…

    Ultimately, Sovell and the Beadle County State’s Attorney Michael Moore, who also assisted Sovell, didn’t think they had enough evidence to charge Ravnsborg with a felony manslaughter charge.

    https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2022/04/13/jason-ravnsborg-attorney-general-south-dakota-impeachment-trial-date-prosecutor/7306726001/

  4. Kurt Evans 2022-12-01 16:09

    I’d written:

    Governor Noem’s DPS secretary Craig Price is a rabid Marty Jackley supporter, and Mark Vargo is Marty Jackley’s hand puppet.

    From the AP via the Brookings Register:

    “We don’t live in a vacuum. We know what the governor wanted us to do,” [Michael] Moore said of Noem’s push to bring more severe charges.

    Hyde County Deputy State’s Attorney Emily Sovell, who led the prosecution, said she took steps to avoid being influenced, including at one point excluding Noem’s Secretary of Public Safety, Craig Price, from communication about the case. But Sovell said Noem’s administration last year crossed a line in releasing video of Ravnsborg being interviewed by prosecutors while he was still facing charges. She said it made the job of the prosecution harder and could have tainted a jury.

    https://brookingsregister.com/article/south-dakota-ag-crash-prosecutors-defend-charging-decisions

    In a flagrant abuse of executive power, Craig Price released information taken out of context from Jason Ravnsborg’s personal text messages, unrelated to any investigation, to smear him in the media and prejudice public opinion against him.

    No prominent South Dakota journalist has publicly asked Marty Jackley or Mark Vargo for any comment on Price’s unethical behavior or Noem’s multiple deliberate violations of the separation of powers.

  5. Kurt Evans 2022-12-02 01:28

    I’d written:

    No prominent South Dakota journalist has publicly asked Marty Jackley or Mark Vargo for any comment on Price’s unethical behavior or Noem’s multiple deliberate violations of the separation of powers.

    From KEVN television in Rapid City:

    [Spencer] Gosch also told reporters that the committee intends to send a cease and desist letter to the Executive branch for “attempting to taint the information out there.”

    The decision to send that letter comes after Department of Public Safety Secretary Craig Price sent a public letter to Gosch laying out the case for why he believes Ravnsborg should be impeached.

    In the letter, Price shared new information about Ravnsborg’s personal conduct and communications in the days after the crash.

    “To go through information that is clearly not relevant to this situation, and trying to release it to the public to sway their opinion, how is that not an issue?” Gosch asked. “It is a disgusting disregard for due process.”

    https://www.blackhillsfox.com/2022/03/11/ravnsborg-impeachment-committee-send-cease-desist-letter-noem/

    Marty Jackley was actively campaigning, with Governor Noem’s aggressive endorsement, to replace Jason Ravnsborg as attorney general, and zero prominent South Dakota journalists publicly asked him for comment.

    Those journalists have arguably done almost as much as “short-termer” Vargo to help the “new old guy” Jackley “transition smoothly back into the office.”

  6. Mark Anderson 2022-12-02 11:03

    Kurt, it’s a conspiracy. Take your CBD gummies.

  7. grudznick 2022-12-02 13:19

    Mr. Evans, are you a witch?

  8. Kurt Evans 2022-12-02 14:07

    Cory had written:

    Nice to see the current A.G. [Mark Vargo] follows the law better than the previous one [Jason Ravnsborg], and nice to see that short-termer Vargo is helping the new0old guy [Marty Jackley] transition smoothly back into the office.

    I’d written:

    Governor Noem’s DPS secretary Craig Price is a rabid Marty Jackley supporter, and Mark Vargo is Marty Jackley’s hand puppet…

    In a flagrant abuse of executive power, Craig Price released information taken out of context from Jason Ravnsborg’s personal text messages, unrelated to any investigation, to smear him in the media and prejudice public opinion against him.

    No prominent South Dakota journalist has publicly asked Marty Jackley or Mark Vargo for any comment on Price’s unethical behavior or Noem’s multiple deliberate violations of the separation of powers.

    Mark Anderson writes:

    Allison Morrisette, isn’t it almost ironic? …

    Kurt, it’s a conspiracy. Take your CBD gummies.

    I’ve never used CBD. Do you think it would make your jokes seem funny?

  9. Mark Anderson 2022-12-02 16:18

    I never joke, its just when I read nonsense I reply with nonsense. Its a cosmic joke

  10. larry kurtz 2022-12-05 11:30

    Every federal department and agency already recognizes Native America as the 51st State. While the Palestinian homeland looks like holes in the slice of Swiss cheese analogous to the illegal Israeli state, progress toward resolutions of Native trust disputes would have far more political traction after tribes secede from the States in which they reside and then be ratified to form one State, the 51st, sans contiguous borders with two Senators and two House members as there are an estimated 2.5 million Indigenous living on reservations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.