The South Dakota Government Accountability Board has released records in the ethics complaint filed against Gov Kristi Noem and they show that in April she asked the board to dismiss it without a public hearing and seal off certain records.
The complaint accuses Noem of malfeasance and a conflict of interest in her dealings with a state agency that had denied her daughter a real estate appraiser license.
The accusation triggered an investigation by the Legislature’s audit committee, controlled by her fellow Republicans. The panel unanimously approved a report in May that found Noem’s daughter got preferential treatment.
The 3 retired judges on the Accountability Board unanimously ruled last month there was enough evidence for them to believe Noem “engaged in misconduct” and that formal proceedings should be held..
Noem’s April motion asking for a quiet dismissal and sealed records argued that then-Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg had acted out of political retribution for Noem calling for his impeachment over his involvement in a fatal car crash.
In a related development, current Attorney General Mark Vargo has named Hughes County State’s Attorney Jessica LaMie to supervise the investigation into another ethics complaint against Noem.