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Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is facing an investigation by a fellow Republican, her state’s attorney general.
South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg is reviewing a meeting that the governor organized for her daughter and an employee of the state who headed the agency that denied Noem’s daughter’s application to become a certified real estate appraiser, The Associated Press reported.
“I have been contacted by concerned citizens and legislators,” the attorney general, said to the Associated Press in a statement Tuesday. “I am actively reviewing their concerns and I will be following the steps prescribed in codified law in relation to those questions.”
Kassidy Peters, then 26, ultimately obtained the certification in November 2020, four months after the meeting at her mother’s office. A week after that, the labor secretary called the agency head, Sherry Bren, to demand her retirement, according to an age discrimination complaint Bren filed against the department. Bren, 70, ultimately left her job this past March after the state paid her $200,000 to withdraw the complaint.
Exactly what transpired at July 27, 2020, meeting in the governor’s office isn’t clear. Noem declined an interview request and her office declined to answer detailed questions about the meeting.
“The Associated Press is disparaging the Governor’s daughter in order to attack the Governor politically – no wonder Americans’ trust in the media is at an all-time low,” the governor’s spokesman Ian Fury said.
University of Minnesota Law School Professor Richard Painter, the chief ethics attorney for former President George W. Bush, said the meeting was a conflict of interest.
“It’s clearly a conflict of interest and an abuse of power for the benefit of a family member,” the professor said.
When Peters’ application was denied her supervisor, Kristine Juelfs, said she disagreed with the denial.
“In the past week I was notified that my trainee, State Registered Appraiser Kassidy Peters, was denied upgrade of her license to State Certified Residential Appraiser,” she said. “This came as quite a shock to myself as she has represented the knowledge and skills necessary.”
Speaking to The Associated Press, Peters agreed with her supervisor.
“My upgrade to become a Certified Residential Appraiser was very lengthy and I was expected to navigate through many obstacles from the very beginning,” she said. “I’m glad I have it now and that I have the privilege to serve my clients in South Dakota.”
Labor Secretary Marcia Hultman answered questions from The Associated Press but did not get into details about the case.
“Kassidy Peters went through the same process as other appraisers. There was no denial,” she said. “Mrs. Peters completed the requirements to become licensed, and she was subsequently certified in November.”
Noem has been seen by some as a potential presidential candidate in 2024 but she has come across criticism from some conservatives, particularly when she did not sign a ban on transgender athletes in women’s sports.
The governor committed an act of betrayal in the eyes of many of her supporters when she effectively neutered a bill that she claimed to support that would protect women’s sports from those who are male but identify as female, PJ Media reported.
“We are extremely disappointed to see Gov. Noem break her word on this critical legislation,” Terry Schilling who serves as the president of the American Principles Project said. “Gov. Noem’s veto would scrap the vast majority of the bill text and would strip protections for female athletes in collegiate sports in the state. Additionally, it would eliminate all reasonable enforcement mechanisms, neutering the legislation so much as to render it meaningless.”
“All the while, Noem continues to claim dubiously that she still supports the bill, hoping South Dakotans will ignore the fact she was responsible for killing it,” he said.
Article Source : Conservativebrief.com