AG Sends Lawmaker Request On State Plane Use To Ethics Panel


  South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg is passing along a request from a state lawmaker to investigate Gov. Kristi Noem’s use of the state airplane.

        Ravnsborg says the issue should be handled by the Government Accountability Board for “review and action.” The board is responsible for reviewing allegations of misconduct by state officials. 

      Democratic State Senator Reynold Nesiba in February requested the attorney general to investigate whether Noem had violated state law by flying on the state airplane to family events and to events hosted by political organizations.

      Noem defends her travel to political events as part of her role as an “ambassador for the state” and says she has always used the plane according to state law. 

      Ian Fury, the governor’s Communications Director, says complaints centered around her daughter’s marriage in Custer don’t tell the full story.

      Fury says Noem drove to Custer to help her daughter prepare for the wedding, then was picked up by the plane and flown to appearances in Vermillion for Girls State and Aberdeen for Boys State.

        The plane then took her back to Custer before returning to Pierre at the end of the day while Noem took part in the wedding and eventually drove back to the capital.