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South Dakota Legislature moves for subpoenas on Noem meeting

PIERRE, S.D.— South Dakota lawmakers voted to subpoena the Department of Labor to hand over a document regarding purported actions by Governor Kristi Noem that interfered with the granting of a state appraisal license to her daughter.

They want to know if there was an agreement in place to give Kassidy Peters another chance at the license prior to a meeting last year in Noem’s office that has sparked conflict-of-interest questions.

At the meeting were the governor, her daughter and key decision-makers in the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation.

The Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee voted 8-2 to issue the subpoena.

The Committee also voted 8-2 to issue a subpoena to Sheri Bren to appear before the committee. Bren is the former Executive Director of the South Dakota Appraiser Certification Program, heading the agency at the time that Noem’s daughter Kassidy Peters applied for (and was denied) the appraisal license.

Bren says she was later forced to retire. She eventually won a $200,000 settlement from the state.

Members of the committee issuing the subpoenas are Senators:  Chair: SKyle choenfish, (R-Dist 19) and Kyle Vice-Chair: David Wheeler(R-Dist. 22); Jean Hunhoff, (R); Reynold Nesiba, (D); and Wayne Steinhauer,(R).

Senators Wayne Steinhauer and Jean Hunhoff voted “no”  on the two subpoenas.

The governor has adamantly denied any wrongdoing. But the subpoenas that cleared the GOP-dominated committee show lawmakers want more answers.

The subpoenas could be finalized Wednesday. The committee plans to meet again on the subject with the date and time to be determined.

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