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AG Vargo: MMIP Liaison to start soon

Attorney General Mark Vargo
Attorney General's office
Attorney General Mark Vargo

Attorney General Mark Vargo says the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Person liaison could start by the beginning of November.

Vargo hopes the position will open lines of communication between the Attorney General’s office, state and tribes to find missing people.

“I’m very excited. We’ve completed our interviews. We’re still in the process of doing some background checks. That’s part of the hiring process, inherently, because this person will have access to sensitive law enforcement information," Vargo said. "So, we have to be a little bit different than for other positions that we hire. But, the bottom line is we’re looking at having somebody on board very quickly.”

The position was created by the legislature during the 2021 legislative session, but went unfilled.

Vargo took office at the end of June, after the state legislature impeached and removed former Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg from office.

Native Americans make up 60 percent of missing people in South Dakota.

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.