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Deputy says he'll vie to replace Varn as county attorney

Jan 30, 2013 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

Shortly after Fremont County attorney Brian Varn submitted his letter of resignation to commissioners Tuesday, deputy county attorney Pat LeBrun announced he is seeking the position.

"I've always wanted to be involved in public service," LeBrun said.

Varn told the county board Tuesday that he would be leaving the position he's had for nearly four years to join his family in Denver.

Commissioners appointed Varn in April 2009 after county attorney Ed Newell resigned. Varn then ran unopposed in the November 2010 election, securing a four-year term.

Because Varn is a Republican, his successor must be a member of the GOP, which LeBrun is. The Republican Party will submit three candidate names in the coming weeks to commissioners, who will then appoint a new county attorney to fulfill the remainder of Varn's term.

'Strong familiarity'

"What I can bring is a very strong familiarity with the office," LeBrun said. "I have a good working relationship with everyone in the office."

LeBrun, 41, of Riverton, joined the Fremont County attorney's office in July 2009 after a seven-year stint in Casper with a private practice.

His decision to be a prosecutor goes back to his interest in public service.

"In 2009, I had the opportunity to come and work for Brian Varn, and it's something I wanted to do for a long time," LeBrun explained. "We were about to have a child, and I wanted to take the opportunity. We are going to raise our child here and make Fremont County our home."

LeBrun said his familiarity with the job would help with the major cases the office is handling.

"We have a lot of significant cases that this office is going to have to be litigating over the next several months that are very complicated," he said.

LeBrun has spent the last three months learning the day-to-day operations of the office, which he said has helped him with the administrative end of the job including the serious budget concerns.

Knowing Varn's plans to resign, LeBrun had also spent several months studying and practicing the job.

"Unless you're here right now and have the experience in the office, it would be a difficult transition," LeBrun said. "I offer continuity, which is very important, particularly when we have five people currently facing trial for murder.

"I believe I have a good working relationship with the local law enforcement that I developed over the last several years," he added.

Priorities

If appointed, LeBrun said he intends to continue with Varn's juvenile day reporting center program, and he will work to ensure its success.

Another focus will be infant mortality and crimes involving child victims.

"We've got to do something about that," he said, suggesting more training and cooperation among entities.

LeBrun said the child advocacy project in Casper that conducts forensic interviews with children wants to create a satellite office in Fremont County to assist the local office.

"I'm gong to encourage that as much as I can," he said about the proposal.

LeBrun is a Wyoming native and a 2002 graduate of the University of Wyoming College of Law.

"I can hit the ground running," he said.

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