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South Dakota AG launches investigation of Gov. Kristi Noem

South Dakota's attorney general is looking into whether Noem abused her powers as governor by allegedly having her cabinet secretary pressure a state employee on behalf of her daughter.

Updated: September 28, 2021 - 10:26pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

South Dakota's attorney general is looking into possible misconduct by Republican Gov. Kristi Noem. 

According to the Associated Press, Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg is looking into a meeting Noem held with a state employee concerning her daughter's real estate license rejection. The state employee was tasked with overseeing the application process for Noem's daughter, Kassidy Peters.

Four months after Peters' license was rejected, the state subsequently approved it. This immediate reversal raised eyebrows throughout South Dakota, especially among state lawmakers. Following Peters' approval, the state employee, Sherry Bren, was allegedly pressured to retire by Noem's cabinet secretary in charge of the state's real estate approval process. 

Bren subsequently reported the secretary's actions but was allegedly given a $200,000 payment following the complaint being dropped. 

In a statement, Ravnsborg said he had been "contacted by concerned citizens and legislators." 

"I am actively reviewing their concerns, and I will be following the steps prescribed in codified law in relation to those questions," he continued. 

Ethics experts told the Associated Press that Noem's actions raise serious concerns concerning potential abuse of power.

Noem has denied the allegations, telling Fox News that "the media is trying to destroy my children."

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