PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and Attorney General Marty Jackley have released two letters today, referencing the inappropriate use of COVID-19 relief dollars by a state Senator.
In a release Thursday, the Governor announced she had sent a letter to the Attorney General asking that his office investigate the matter concerning Senator Jessica Castleberry of Rapid City.
It asks Jackley’s office to investigate possible Constitutional and statutory violations committed by Senator Castleberry when she and her business had accepted more than $603,000 in COVID relief dollars while she served in the Legislature. The State Supreme Court ruled in 2020 that such payments to elected officials were illegal.
You can find Governor Noem’s letter to Attorney General Jackley here: https://governor.sd.gov/doc/2023-7-25_Ltr-to-AGO-re-Castleberry-Art-3-S-12.pdf
Jackley then sent a letter on Wednesday, July 26, to Gov. Noem responding to her request.
You can find Attorney General Jackley’s letter to Governor Noem here: Jackley’s Letter to Noem
Also on July 26, Attorney General Jackley sent a letter to Senator Castleberry requesting she repay the full amount. Attorney General Jackley stated in his letter that the state will pursue court action if the full amount is not repaid.
Castleberry said in her own news release on Thursday that she consulted with independent counsel before applying for COVID-19 money. “Upon several occasions, I communicated directly and transparently with DSS (Department of Social Services) staff regarding grant applications. I am committed to resolving the issue with the State and will work with them to ensure I acted in compliance with the State Constitution.”
You can find Attorney General Jackley’s letter to Senator Castleberry here:Castleberry Letter