In Case You Missed It!

June 5th, 2013 Posted in In Case You Missed It

James B. Vargason ’80 was originally run in the spring/summer 2013 edition of The Spartan

James  VargasonA 2001 Alumni Award recipient, Jim started practicing law in Auburn after graduating from Syracuse University College of Law.  He was elected District Attorney of Cayuga County, where he served for 16 years as the county’s chief law enforcement official.  Jim created first-of-their-kind programs in Cayuga County to combat child and domestic violence, as well as the first victim services program.  He is the only Cayuga County DA to serve as President of the NYS District Attorneys Association.  Jim also taught criminal justice courses at CCC for 18 years.

Following retirement in 2007, Jim and his wife Anne moved to Northern Virginia.  He started a new career at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., where he investigates and prosecutes DOJ attorneys and federal agents for professional misconduct.  Jim holds some of our nation’s highest security clearances, including a classified clearance, a top secret clearance, and is certified to courier classified national security information.  Vargason has received five consecutive Sustained Superior Performance Awards from the DOJ.

In early 2011, Jim completed a rigorous pre-deployment training program after volunteering to go to a warzone in Iraq to serve one year as the DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Resident Legal Advisor and Rule of Law Section Chief.  Jim underwent extensive training in diplomacy, antiterrorism, and weapons/ firearms certification, after which he was appointed a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal. In Iraq, Jim first served at a Civilian/Military Provincial Reconstruction Team on a U.S. Military Base, and then at the first U.S. Consulate General, both in Basrah.  He led a team of legal professionals, and worked closely with Iraqi justice officials providing technical assistance, training, and advice to Iraqi judges, prosecutors, and intelligence officials, among others.  Jim traveled throughout Iraq by Blackhawk helicopters and in mine resistant armored personnel vehicles.  There were many rocket attacks on his base and while he worked in other provinces in Iraq.

After completing his tour of duty in March 2012, Jim returned to Northern Virginia and resumed the position he held at the DOJ before he left for Iraq.

Reflecting on his time at CCC, Jim shared:  “I chose CCC because it had an excellent reputation with a CJ program of instructors with real life experience. It was the first step in achieving a law degree, earning an “Honorable” salutation as an elected official, and it can be said that it helped take me all the way to the Middle East where I had an incredible experience.”

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