Huether Boots Pal Sideras from SF Fire Department

Mike Huether apparently has his own internal corruption scandal on his hands. After firing Fire Chief Jim Sideras two months before his planned retirement, banning Sideras from city Fire Rescue buildings, and seeing law enforcement search Sideras’s house Tuesday, the Sioux Falls mayor signals there is a crime of some import to investigate:

“I can tell you that he’s no longer an employee with the city of Sioux Falls effective today,” Huether said. “We [are] gonna move on, take care of our city in the best way that we can, just like we’ve always done.”

An email sent just before 5:30 p.m. from the city said Sideras’ last day was Tuesday. Later that evening, the mayor was not able to say why the decision was made, but he did add a little more context.

“I will say this: that right now, we’ve got a good team of women and men that are doing some work, the DCI, the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Department, and I’ve got great confidence that they’ll do a great job, and ultimately that’s whose hands are now tackling this for us and for the citizens,” Huether said [Dan Santella, “Huether Comments on Sideras'{s} Departure,” KELO-TV, 2017.05.02].

As Todd Epp notes, Mayor Huether didn’t choose the best words for a bad situation. Instead of spinning a Trumpy, campaigny assurance that the thing he can’t tell us about won’t keep Sioux Falls from being great-great, Huether should have avoided “move on” and focused on the need to get to the bottom of the thing he can’t tell us about.

Of course, if Sideras is just a judge’s signature away from being arrested, Huether will have to deal with far more implicating words that he uttered less than a month ago upon Sideras’s retirement announcement:

“Chief Sideras, his bride Kathy, and their family and the Huethers go back a long ways, so to say I am proud and thrilled for them would be an understatement. It has been an honor to serve with him, and countless others feel the same,” says Mayor Mike Huether [City of Sioux Falls, press release, 2017.04.11].

Back a long way, honor to serve… somewhere the SDGOP spin machine is archiving photos and video of Huether and Sideras together for use by Kristi, Marty, Dusty, Shantel, or whichever other Republican this Mayor Mike guy thinks he might run against next year.

12 Responses to Huether Boots Pal Sideras from SF Fire Department

  1. Let’s get this straight. You’re trying to fault Huether for saying good things about Sideras before Huether knew there was an investigation going on? And you’re nitpicking the statement Huether made when everybody was asking him to make a statement, but he couldn’t give details of the investigation. I know you don’t like the guy, but you’re grasping at straws here to find some fault, any fault, with Huether.

  2. If it was simple embezzlement or theft of city property, Sideras would already be in cuffs. I have a feeling, the investigation goes a little deeper, and Jim won’t be the only one getting a free stay at the big house when this is all said and done. As for Huether being able to wash his hands of whatever this is, good luck. Mike is Jim’s direct supervisor and according to his handshakes and hugs at his retirement presser, they have been BFF’s for several years. If you think MMM is being blindsided by this investigation, you truly are naïve.

  3. The straw is no graspier than noting holding Mike Rounds accountable for Richard Benda’s EB-5 shenanigans, or reviewing the record of Rick Melmer’s and Melody Schopp’s placement of Dan Guericke and Scott Westerhuis in charge of millions in GEAR UP funds.

  4. Wrong Cory. The straw is graspy because you don’t have a clue right now about what the investigation is about with Sideras. Not a clue. You just want to assume that somebody you don’t like (Huether) is somehow at fault for something. So in the absence of facts to support that, you fault him nitpicky stuff that nobody should be faulted for.

  5. A public official is fired, banned from city buildings, and undergoes a police search at his home, and we’re not to look to the administration that oversaw that public employee and wonder what responsibility the leadership bears? We might just as easily turn things around and say you’re carving a safe space for a politician you like that you would not carve for one you don’t.

  6. It’s city policy to ban fired employees from city buildings. It’s also common practice in private companies. That’s a news media grasp for sensationalism.

    The warrant is where it’s at; someone had to persuade a judge there was probable cause for some illegal activity.

    Then again, we also should remember Mr. Nesiba’s recent stint with warrants and how that all played out.

    I’ll wager this is more legitimate; this close to retirement, it’s gotta be something pretty nefarious for the city to willingly undergo scandal and not just let Sideras slide into retirement.

  7. Sensationalism? No, it’s a reporting of what happened. Sensationalism is when Don Jorgensen gets a cop to leak arrest information so he can have cameras in place to pillory a guy against who the complaint turned out to be untenable.

  8. I think Pierre should move to Sioux Falls so that we can keep these guys kind of fenced in.

  9. DaCola: I was told some of the video record of Sideras on the City of Sioux Falls website has been removed. Do you know if that’s correct?

  10. All Youtube videos of Sideras on the city channel have been removed. Not sure if the city did this on their own or if it was taken down for evidence.

  11. Robin Friday

    Interesting, isn’t it? For those of us who don’t live in Sioux Falls and don’t know a lot of their inside stories. . .hmmm. . .curious. But I have to disagree with the idea that Huether adds context with what he said. Huether reminds me of a mini-Trump. His statements add no context, just more hype about how great the city is and more blah-blah-blah. Thanks for the report on this, Cory.

  12. Funny, South Dacola: one doesn’t have to take videos down in order to save a copy for evidence. The fact that public records show that a crime happened does not change the status of those public documents as public.

    Robin, I agree that Huether sounds very Trumpy, more self-promotion than substance.