SD Legislature Subpoenas For State Agency Head As Part Of Noem Ethics Investigation


      The South Dakota Legislature has issued a subpoena to the former head of the state agency at the center of questions over whether Gov. Kristi Noem used her office to influence her daughter’s application for a real estate appraiser license. 

      The Legislature’s Executive Board on Wednesday ratified a subpoena from the Government Operations and Audit Committee to compel testimony from Sherry Bren, former director of the Appraiser Certification Program. 

      Bren had suggested the committee subpoena as a way to free herself from a provision in a $200,000 settlement agreement for an age discrimination suit she brought against the state that prohibits her from disparaging state officials.

      The Audit Committee is investigating a meeting Noem held at the governor’s mansion shortly after her daughter’s license application was turned down. 

      Noem, her daughter, Bren, and State Labor Secretary Marcia Hultman were among those at the meeting. The license was approved a few weeks later.

       Bren retired shortly after that, but claimed she’d been forced to by Hultman. She sued and the state offered the settlement.