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Sheriff to run again

Varga points to upgrades in technology

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
Sheriff John Varga

DIXON – Lee County Sheriff John Varga will seek a third term, he announced Tuesday.

Varga, 47, who joined the Sheriff's Department in 2000, first was elected sheriff in 2006. He was hired as a correctional deputy, then was named chief bailiff in 2004. He was appointed chief deputy just before the November 2006 election.

"Times have changed through the county since I've been in office," Varga said Tuesday. "We've dealt with two homicides ... and after working on a 30-year-old homicide case, we've brought someone into custody."

Under Varga's leadership, the department replaced its radio system with a new digital system, which also allowed the Amboy, Franklin Grove and Ashton police departments to increase their communication abilities.

Varga also oversaw the implementation of a video system between the jail and the courts building, which allowed for inmates to appear in court via video for some hearings, eliminating the need to always move them between the two buildings.

"We've done a lot of good, I think, for the county," he said. "We will continue to provide and deal with the concerns of the citizens and provide professional public safety throughout the county."

Born in Dixon, Varga is a lifelong resident of Lee County. He and his wife, Amy, have two children, Hunter, 16, and Haley, 14.

Varga so far faces only one opponent in the March 18 Republican primary, John Simonton, a Dixon police officer and retired state police lieutenant. Simonton also was Dixon High School's head football coach in 2005.

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