State airplane

Gov. Kristi Noem delivers her annual budget address Dec. 6, 2022, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Makenzie Huber/SD Searchlight)

Effort to define ‘state business’ for aircraft use fails in committee

BY: - February 15, 2023

A committee of legislators rejected an attempt Wednesday at the Capitol in Pierre to define “state business” as it pertains to the use of state aircraft. Sen. Reynold Nesiba, D-Sioux Falls, brought the bill in response to a controversy over Republican Gov. Kristi Noem’s use of a state-owned airplane. Testifying to the Senate Transportation Committee, […]

Retired state Supreme Court Justice Lori Wilbur and retired Circuit Court Judges David Gienapp and Gene Paul Kean announce the dismissal of a complaint against Gov. Kristi Noem during a meeting in Sioux Falls on Dec. 20, 2022. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Ethics panel dismisses airplane complaint against Noem, citing no definition of ‘state business’

BY: - December 20, 2022

The state Government Accountability Board dismissed a complaint Tuesday regarding Gov. Kristi Noem’s use of state aircraft, citing no sufficient legal definition of “state business.”  The three retired judges on the board – minus an additional member who recused himself – called the definition necessary to determine if a legal or ethical violation took place. […]

Gov. Kristi Noem showed this image of a state-owned airplane in 2021 when she proposed selling two older planes and buying a new one as part of her annual budget proposal. (Image from Gov. Noem's FY22 Budget Slides)

The key words and missing definition in the Noem airplane controversy

BY: - October 31, 2022

When authorities announced the conclusion of a recent investigation into Gov. Kristi Noem’s use of a state airplane, their news release included a potentially key phrase. The news release said, in part, “there were no facts to support a criminal prosecution under current law.” Those last three words – “under current law” – leave some […]

Gov. Kristi Noem speaks at a January 2022 event in the state Capitol at Pierre. (Twitter/Governor Kristi Noem)

No charges against Noem in airplane investigation

BY: - October 25, 2022

Hughes County State’s Attorney Jessica LaMie announced Tuesday that no charges will be filed in the investigation into Gov. Kristi Noem’s alleged misuse of a state airplane. LaMie said in a news release that the state Division of Criminal Investigation had ended its inquiry, which included examining whether the plane’s flight records had been tampered […]