Pennington County state’s attorney Mark Vargo earned himself a brief but useful tenure in the Attorney General’s office by successfully prosecuting his predecessor, killer and pretty poor manager Jason Ravnsborg, at last summer’s historic Senate impeachment trial of South Dakota’s worst attorney general ever. Now Vargo’s able co-prosecutor, Clay County state’s attorney Alexis Tracy, gets a likely longer turn in the AG’s office—not behind her pal Marty‘s big desk, but in a cozy room next door as an assistant attorney general:
The Clay County Commission is in the process of doing what’s necessary to quickly find a new county state’s attorney.
Alexis Tracy, who was elected to that office in 2016 and was re-elected in 2020, will be stepping down in approximately three months to work for South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley.
A press release from Jackley’s office states that Tracy is scheduled to join the state AG office in Sioux Falls beginning June 1.
“In the interim, we’ll put out a job description and invite applications, however, the person who takes that job will, of course, have to run for election because it’s an elected office,” said Betty Smith, chairwoman of the Clay County Commission. “The five county commissioners will make the decision about the appointment.”
…“She (Tracy) is going to work until June 1 for the county and hopefully help with the transition,” Smith said.
Tracy has been an attorney for 17 years and has been a prosecuting attorney for more than 16 years [David Lias, “Clay County State’s Attorney Alexis Tracy to Join SD Attorney General’s Office,” Vermillion Plain Talk, 2023.03.08].
The Attorney General’s criminal justice directory lists one vacancy among 19 current assistant attorney generals, plus “Chief Deputy” Mark Barnett and “Chief Deputy Attorney General” Charles McGuigan. That directory still lists Yvette LaFrentz as an assistant AG, even though she moved up to the U.S. Attorney’s office last month. Perhaps Lafrentz’s is the vacancy Tracy will fill.
When he lived in Yankton, Jason Ravnsborg used to commute two counties over to Union County to volunteer as a deputy state’s attorney for fellow Iowan Dan Lederman’s GOP cronies. He might not mind driving just one county over apply for the Clay County state’s attorney position, but, fortunately for the people of Clay County, Alexis Tracy made sure the Senate disqualified Ravnsborg from holding any public office in South Dakota ever again. Eligible and effective lawyers are welcome to submit their applications to Clay County.