Conflicts of interest

The South Dakota Capitol building in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Noem appoints business owner, former sheriff’s deputy to state Senate seat

BY: - February 12, 2024

Gov. Kristi Noem has filled the state’s last remaining legislative vacancy.  Marine Corps veteran, longtime former law officer and current small business owner Mike Walsh will fill the District 35 state Senate seat left open by the departure of Jessica Castleberry. District 35 includes the far eastern side of Rapid City and most of Box […]

The Supreme Court at the South Dakota Capitol in Pierre. (Getty Images)

State Supreme Court clarifies conflicts of interest; Noem pledges to fill legislative seats

BY: and - February 9, 2024

Legislators can have contracts with state government if the money comes from the annual budget bill, but not if the money comes from any other bill. That’s the gist of a state Supreme Court opinion issued Friday. Immediately after the opinion’s release, Gov. Kristi Noem said it will free her up to make appointments for […]

Rep. Becky Drury, R-Rapid City, speaks on the House floor during the 2023 legislative session at the Capitol in Pierre. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

Noem appoints current legislator to vacant Rapid City seat

BY: - January 16, 2024

Gov. Kristi Noem has appointed one legislator to replace another, leaving two seats in Rapid City and the surrounding area still vacant. Becky Drury, currently serving in the House of Representatives for District 32, will replace Jess Olson, who served in the House for District 34 before resigning due to health reasons. Drury bought a […]

The entrance to the South Dakota Supreme Court at the state Capitol in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

State Supreme Court signals caution in conflict of interest case

BY: - January 8, 2024

PIERRE — The South Dakota Supreme Court might soon offer clarity on what it means for a lawmaker to have a conflict of interest on state contracts. Or it won’t.  On Monday in Pierre, the justices spent much of a hearing on the matter peppering Attorney General Marty Jackley and lawyers for the governor and […]

State Auditor Rich Sattgast speaks during a rally featuring former President Donald Trump on Sept. 8, 2023, at The Monument in Rapid City. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

State auditor says legislative factions are spreading conflict-of-interest allegations

BY: - November 14, 2023

The state auditor said Tuesday he has fielded claims that numerous legislators are violating state constitutional provisions regarding conflicts of interest.  “I haven’t been given any names, but I’ve been alerted that there are possibly 20 legislators out of the 105 that would probably have some sort of conflict,” said Auditor Rich Sattgast, who shared […]

The South Dakota Capitol is reflected in Capitol Lake. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Legislator’s conflict of interest puts meaning of ‘indirect’ under microscope

BY: - September 1, 2023

What does “indirect” mean? The question has been at the forefront of political discourse in South Dakota for weeks after former Sen. Jessica Castleberry, R-Rapid City, was found to have accepted over $500,000 in allegedly illegal indirect benefits from state government while serving as a state legislator. The state constitution prohibits legislators from being interested […]