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Municipal official indicted for embezzlement from highway group

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A grand jury has charged a municipal official with embezzling more than $100,000 from the South Dakota Association of Highway Superintendents.

Brookings County State’s Attorney Dan Nelson announced Friday, Aug. 27 that Duane Buthe has been indicted, the Argus Leader reported. Buthe, 41, served as highway superintendent in Minnehaha County from 2010 until last year. He became the public works director in the city of Brookings this past March.

According to the indictment, Buthe embezzled the money from the association between 2013 and 2021 while he served as the group’s secretary. State investigators uncovered numerous questionable transactions and withdrawals that Buthe used for his personal benefit.

“The SDACHS is funded mostly by the hard working taxpayers of South Dakota,” Nelson said in the announcement. “Counties across South Dakota pay thousands of dollars to support the training and education of their highway superintendents. If you’ve paid county taxes in South Dakota during this period, you’ve been impacted by this crime.”

Buthe’s attorney, Sonny Walter, didn’t immediately return a voicemail.

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