Randy Seiler for Attorney General

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Trump nominates Sioux Falls man to replace SD U.S. Attorney Randy Seiler of Fort Pierre

By Stephen Lee stephen.lee@capjournal.com Jul 24, 2017

Fort Pierre’s own Randy Seiler’s days as South Dakota’s top federal prosecutor became numbered in a new way Friday as President Donald Trump nominated’ a Sioux Falls lawyer for U.S. Attorney in the state.

Ron Parsons specializes in appellate and constitutional law, The Associated Press reported after Trump’s nomination was announced.

The U.S. Senate must confirm Parsons’ nomination.

Seiler has been serving as U.S. attorney since Brendan Johnson stepped down in early 2015. In late 2015, Seiler was nominated by President Barack Obama and sworn in.

Parsons, 49, is a partner at the Johnson Janklow Abdallah Reiter and Parsons firm in Sioux Falls.

Parsons clerked for Judge Roger Wollman of the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and his law degree from the University of South Dakota School of Law. Parsons also has published a collection of short stories.

Seiler was acting U.S. attorney for six months until President Barack Obama nominated him to be the 41st U.S. attorney from South Dakota in October 2015, when he was sworn in during a ceremony in Pierre.

But Seiler’s nomination was not confirmed by the U.S. Senate within the allotted time frame. So it was left to U.S. District Chief Judge Jeffrey Viken in Rapid City, who then had the authority to appoint a U.S. attorney.

Viken named Seiler as U.S. attorney effective Feb. 5, 2016. By federal law, he remains in the office until the new administration fills it, Seiler said in a news release in March 2017 when he announced he was not one of 46 U.S. attorneys asked – as in ordered – by Trump to resign.

Although he’s a registered Democrat, Seiler is a 20-year veteran federal prosecutor who has worked in the U.S. attorney’s office in South Dakota during Republican and Democratic administrations.

He and his wife have lived in Fort Pierre for years and he served several years on the Fort Pierre City Council before he had to step down when he became U.S. attorney in 2015.

Typically, each president nominates top federal judges and prosecutors, usually based on party affiliation.

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