Ron Parsons Jr. sworn in as new U.S. attorney for South Dakota

January 10, 2018

Sioux Falls attorney Ron Parsons Jr. has taken the reins as U.S attorney for South Dakota, succeeding Randy Seiler of Fort Pierre, who retired Dec. 31.

Parsons, who is about 45, was sworn in on Friday, Jan. 5, in Sioux Falls by U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier in a brief ceremony and “began his duties immediately,” according to a news release from the Department of Justice.

Parson was nominated last summer by President Donald Trump and recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the state’s top federal prosecutor.

U.S. attorney positions are political spoils, in the sense that each president can, and usually does, appoint them to run the U.S District offices that prosecute federal crimes.

Parsons is a Republican; Seiler is a Democrat tabbed by President Barack Obama in March 2015, after a career working as a prosecutor in the office.

The top federal prosecutor in the state keeps hours and an office in several sites, mostly Sioux Falls, Rapid City and Pierre. Because the feds have jurisdiction in the case of serious crime in what the government calls “Indian country,” and because there are nine Indian reservations in South Dakota, much of the U.S. attorney’s work involves American Indians.

Parsons had been a partner in the law firm of Johnson Janklow Abdallah Reiter & Parsons LLP in Sioux Falls.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Minnesota in 1994 and a law degree from the University of South Dakota in 1997. He was admitted to the state bar in 1998.

He lives in Sioux Falls with his wife and daughter.

“I’m very grateful for the appointment and excited to be joining such a talented and dedicated team of public servants,” Parsons said in the news release.