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AG Jackley Defending Clear Election Rules and Prosecution of Petition Cheaters

Attorney General Marty Jackley is working to beat back the misinformation coming from diehard excusers of convicted felon Annette Bosworth. Saturday he told this blog that the state attempted to negotiate plea arrangements that would have left the convicted petition perjurer “in a better place then she currently is in relation to any potential sentence or permanent record.” That statement responds to the unsubstantiated claim made by Gordon Howie Friday that the state refused to accept repeated plea offers from Bosworth’s lawyers.

AG Jackley speaks to WNAX Radio this morning and says holding Bosworth accountable maintains the integrity of our electoral process. He rebuts the notion that signing the circulator’s oath on a petition one did not circulate is a simple mistake amidst complicated election law:

Overall when you look at our election process, it’s fairly simple. This wasn’t a situation of a mistake…. Clearly when you circulate it, it says “in your presence.” That speaks for itself [Attorney General Marty Jackley, interview “Jackley Defends Election Laws,” WNAX Radio, 2015.06.08].

I agree with the Attorney General that the petition rules are pretty simple. As I’ve been marching my own referendum petitions around Aberdeen, signers have asked if the SB 69 petition has anything to do with “that Bosworth thing” they heard about in the news. Seizing the teachable moment, I say, “Sure does!” and show them the circulator’s oath, which begins with the same twenty words on candidate and ballot measure petitions alike:

I, under oath, state that I circulated the above petition, that each signer personally signed this petition in my presence… [SDAR 05:02:08:00.03].

I read those words to interested signers and say, “Make sense?” So far, every one of them has said, “Yeah, that’s pretty clear.”

Clear rules like this won’t deter candidates from running for office. Enforcing rules like this on all candidates who violate them will help keep candidates honest and elections clean.


  1. Craig 2015-06-08 10:29

    “…the state attempted to negotiate plea arrangements that would have left the convicted petition perjurer “in a better place then she currently is in relation to any potential sentence or permanent record.” ”

    This is what we have suspected all along, but we have had several Bosworth defenders claiming no plea agreements had been offered. Tara for example has been especially critical of the prosecution and has claimed on numerous occasions that it wasn’t necessary to pursue felony charges as a plea agreement would have resulted in a misdemeanor. I asked Tara several times to provide evidence indicating that team Bosworth had attempted to work on a plea, but of course it was ignored.

    It seems now we have the full story, and once again it results in Bosworth being responsible for her own predicament. She has nobody to blame other than herself. Not her lawyer, not her advisors, not Marty Jackley, not Cory, and not the state. Herself.

  2. Kristi 2015-06-08 11:05

    I must say, Cory, that I appreciate reading your blog because you provide factual information, while leaving personal feelings and thoughts to a minimum. Others, such as Lee Stranahan and other Bosworth supporters, seem emotionally intense and appear to forget that the facts are clear and evidence-based. While I don’t doubt that corruption exists in South Dakota politics, I also don’t believe that Dr. Bosworth has been an innocent participant and I also believe she has created the attention that her supporters are complaining about through ridiculous press conferences, repeated accusations of employees or advisors who are to blame for her mess, and apparently making poor choice after poor choice in her business affairs. It seems as though she’s asking for the microscope under which so many of her supporters are claiming she’s been placed.
    In my opinion, Dr. Bosworth can be loosely compared to Al Capone, in that she has committed many transgressions for which she could be consequenced. The perjury happens to be the one for which there was clear evidence and inarguably committed, whether she took someone’s advice or not. I’m held accountable for making the decision to speed in my car, even if one of my law enforcement friends says it’s probably safe to drive a little over the speed limit.
    Again, thank you for your objective reporting of the behaviors of Dr. Bosworth instead of deflecting to other goings on in the state of South Dakota.

  3. mike from iowa 2015-06-08 11:32

    Waiting for Tara to threaten Jackley with libel and slander. Or at least accuse him of lying about Boz.

  4. Lynn 2015-06-08 11:46

    Because of Bosworth, Walker and now at least another former candidate admitting didn’t take the fairly simple petition procedure seriously we all will be paying the price with more restrictive petition laws including those that put challengers to the governing majority party at a disadvantage.

  5. Donald Pay 2015-06-08 12:20

    I wonder if prosecution of perjury is just easier than with other crimes, or whether it is used in order to limit the damage to the powers that run the political system there. If you focus on one aspect of one person’s criminality, then you don’t have to consider how that criminality is aided and abetted, even prodded, by others. It’s not as if there wasn’t a wheelbarrow full of criminality going on in the entire Bosworth campaign. They could have chose any number of paths and any number of folks to go after as well.

    Perjury of one person was the only crime prosecutors decided to charge when one of the sewage ash scam perpetrators finally got the justice he deserved. There were quite a lot of crimes committed there, and quite a few different charges could have been filed against a number of people. They went for perjury, based on a padded resume. Was it because it was easy to prove? Or, was it because it limits the damage, and others who might be involved got off the hook by focusing on one person’s crime, and not the others.’

  6. Rorschach 2015-06-08 13:46

    Marty Jackley’s quote, and particularly reference to “permanent record” leads me to believe she was offered a plea to one felony, which would have allowed her to ask for a suspended imposition – which is the only way to avoid a permanent (public) record. And of course conviction on 1 count only would have put her in a better position for sentencing than conviction on 12 counts even without a suspended imposition. I suspect Bosworth was holding out for a misdemeanor to protect her medical license, but that was not offered. Why should someone who committed multiple felonies be offered a misdemeanor? Of course, in hindsight Bosworth will blame everyone but herself for going to trial instead of taking the offer. It was probably the fault of the people who bought into raffles. Or maybe her campaign staff. Or Marty Jackley. Or Cory Heidelberger. Or the bank that repo’d her house. Or somebody in the Philippines. Or ….

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-08 14:39

    Rohr, fill me in—maybe I missed the point when we discussed this on an earlier post, but do 12 felony convictions at one time really disqualify the defendant from suspended imposition of sentence? I thought it was just a matter of not having previous felony convictions. Is that rule written down somewhere?

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-08 14:43

    Donald Pay, I keep thinking of Capone and tax evasion.

    Kristi, thank you. I’m glad you find the information I present reliable.

    Craig’s comparison of the evidence does get me thinking. Technically, we have “he-said-she-said.” Bosworth’s defenders say X happened; Marty Jackley says X did not happen. Marty’s just another guy; why should we take his word over Gordon’s?

    Jackley’s statement carries more weight because he is putting his name and office to a statement of fact. He has direct knowledge of what happened. He can speak with authority on the topic. We have not heard anyone with direct knowledge of the story put his or her name and reputation on the line to state the opposite. Bosworth hasn’t said anything. Haber hasn’t said anything. The lawyers haven’t said anything. Just as the state won its perjury case before the jury, the state is winning the evidentiary burden in this post-game discussion.

  9. Rorschach 2015-06-08 15:05

    Yes, Cory. Dr. Bosworth is ineligible for a suspended imposition when convicted of multiple felonies. Read the language of SDCL 23A-27-13:

    “Upon receiving a verdict or plea of guilty for a misdemeanor or felony … by a person never before convicted of …[.]”

    The operative language is in the first clause, “a misdemeanor or felony”. It doesn’t say multiple misdemeanors or felonies. “A” means what it is typically understood to mean – one misdemeanor or felony.

  10. Roger Cornelius 2015-06-08 15:30


    I would have to ask if there are any case references where multiple felonies and misdemeanors have been rolled into one to make a conviction eligible for a suspended imposition of sentence.

    Better Call Bear.

  11. Anne 2015-06-08 15:38

    I’ve pretty much come to accept that all politics is loco. Especially when it’s loco.

    AG Jackley has many questions to answer, but he appears to have covered the petition-violation incidents quite thoroughly. In his comments he had the unmitigated temerity to refer to well-documented facts and cite the law.

    After watching Dr. Bosworth’s performances during the 2014 campaign, I began to fear that the Bosworth-syndrome was transmitted through prions. There is an alarming wasting involved in it. I think it may have reached the national level and is shared by Ted Cruz. This morning on a Texas radio station, he was asked about the flooding in Texas, which killed 39 people and left 11 missing. He said:

    ” – These things happen and people attribute it to God, but this is no work of God, this is something sinister and there are obviously other forces at work and they’ve put our great State in shambles in a very short space of time. And you know scientists will blame it on climate change or mumbo jumbo like that, but I know what’s really going on. The heavy rain is obviously caused by Native Americans doing their rain dances and what not, and if we don’t address the Native American issue better in this State, we’ll be seeing further flooding in years to come.”

    When asked to explain further, he said:

    “- Most people know I’m a very spiritual God-fearing man, and if you believe in the grace of God, you also have to believe in the other, what’s opposite, what’s against God’s word. Native Americans have been practicing black magic for centuries and this is no doubt their work. We need to think about the way we view Native Americans and their customs and then maybe we can prevent future floods.”

    To get away from the lunatics, we may have to commit ourselves to an asylum.

  12. Rorschach 2015-06-08 15:47

    No suspended imp for Bosworth. The best thing she can do between now and sentencing is pay the people who bought into raffles that weren’t held, pay her employees, pay her campaign staff. Treat people as she would have them treat her.

  13. Neal 2015-06-08 16:00

    Rorschach, you’re wrong on the law. She can still get a suspended imposition. See State v. Schempp, 498 N.W.2d 618.

  14. Roger Cornelius 2015-06-08 16:07


    This heap big Indian is headed for Texas to do more rain dances, using my black magic I’ll wash the whole damn state of Texas into the Gulf of Mexico and they will no longer have to worry about President Obama invading them and it will be too damn late for them to secede from the union.

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-08 16:12

    State v. Schempp 1993! Leader of the Hobo Day Riot convicted on two charges (riot and escape… though come on: if he’d really done the latter, would we be having this conversation?), circuit declines to suspend imposition of sentence on one charge, Schempp appeals, SD Supreme Court looks at exactly the statute and clause Ror highlights and agrees with Schempp. Here’s the key statement from the ruling:

    It is undisputed that Schempp was convicted of two crimes. However, both crimes occurred within approximately one hour, both were tried in the same action, and the sentences for both were handed down almost simultaneously. The legislature did not specify how to deal with the situation where there are simultaneous convictions for a first-time offender. However, the purpose of suspended imposition of sentence is “to allow the first-time offender to rehabilitate himself without the trauma of imprisonment or the stigma of a conviction record.” State v. Marshall, 247 N.W.2d 484, 487 (S.D. 1976) (interpreting a prior version of the statute). When faced with a choice between two possible constructions of a statute, the court should apply the interpretation which advances the legislature’s goals. Friese v. Gulbrandson, 69 S.D. 179, 8 N.W.2d 438 (1943). We conclude that the legislature left the courts with discretion to apply SDCL23A-27-13 in each case in the manner best suited to achieve the goals of that statute.

    Statute doesn’t clearly say that simultaneous convictions disqualify a defendant from suspended imposition of sentence; therefore, the court retains discretion to suspend. Wow! Great find, Neal!

  16. Rorschach 2015-06-08 16:22

    I don’t think I’m wrong on the law, Neal. The State v. Schempp decision did not address the first clause of the statute that I pointed to. It doesn’t appear that either the trial court or the attorneys on appeal or the Supreme Court focused on that language, “a misdemeanor or felony” but rather focused on whether two simultaneous convictions constitute a prior conviction. I have no doubt that if an identical case as State v. Schempp were to come up today and the first clause of the statute were argued and briefed that the Supreme Court would say a suspended imp may only be granted on 1 misdemeanor or felony, and certainly not on 12 or whatever Bosworth was convicted of.

  17. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-08 16:39

    Rors, I think State v. Schempp implicitly covers both phrases. “A misdemeanor or felony” carries the same assumption as “never before convicted” that the court imputes to legislative intent: the Legislature wrote this statute with first-time offenders in mind. The Legislature did not mean for a first-time offender to become a habitual offender between the two seconds it took for the jury foreman to say “guilty” to each charge in the same case.

    Not that I would mind if Rors prevailed in this argument and excluded the possibility of SIOS for this defendant. The judge should throw a decent-sized book at her, based on the available record of other questionable behavior and a persistent refusal to take responsibility for her actions. I just don’t think statute makes that exclusion… and State v. Schempp appears to uphold that conclusion. We’ll have to rely on the judge’s good sense to exclude SIOS as an appropriate response for this first-time-caught offender.

  18. Rorschach 2015-06-08 16:44

    If you think Bosworth is eligible for a suspended imposition for her 12 convictions or however many, then who am I to disagree? You know more about the law and the legislature’s intent than I do.

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-08 16:52

    Whoa! I’m making no claim to greater knowledge. I’m saying I don’t see how your analysis overcomes State v. Schempp. I’m saying that if the court can look at Schempp’s simultaneous, single-trial convictions and say they don’t DQ him from SIOS, then they’d take the same position on Bosworth’s, unless there’s some principle of “2 but not 12” that I’ve missed in jurisprudence. Neal’s given us a pretty good precedent; whack him back with a counter-precedent!

  20. Donald Pay 2015-06-08 17:22

    Let’s assume that she could qualify under statute for suspended imposition. Is it strictly up to the judge? Does the prosecutor have to recommend it, or at minimum not oppose it? Is a prosecutor in this case more likely to agree to suspended imposition if she (1) shuts up or (2) seeks to further implicate others, who might have advised her or been involved? In short, is he likely to dangle suspended imposition if she shuts up and let’s the bigger issue of rampant political corruption fade into the sunset?

  21. Anne 2015-06-08 17:27

    I was duped. I picked up the post from a share on Alternet and saw no disclaimers. But reading some of the wild treatments of fact and irrational opinions of late made me gullible.

  22. frank 2015-06-08 17:31

    I read about you people today. Even now I read this and there is something wrong with you. How do you go after a little boy. I hope the justice dept indicts all of you. I read on reddit that you all could be fined for you stupid posts. I know the wollmans and they can sue you.

  23. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-08 18:16

    No little boy has been gone after. A jury convicted Annette Bosworth on evidence that Bosworth herself confirmed. Check your facts, Frank.

    And Frank, in case you didn’t notice, we’re working a serious conversation about South Dakota law and sentencing procedures here. Your wild assertion that a bunch of people here could by sued by people not associated with this case (the Wollmans? which ones?) for things they didn’t do really doesn’t advance our conversation. Better expand your reading horizons beyond Reddit.

  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-08 18:16

    Understood, Anne. Madness is contagious. :-)

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-08 19:13

    Oh, this is the part where we should be scared. Of what, Frank?

  26. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-06-08 19:14

    Frank, Frank, Frank. Threats are soooo enlightening. You wouldn’t be Tara-in-disguise, would you? BTW, be sure to get my name right so you and your mythical friends can come after me for having an opinion. I’ve got bucket loads of money you can sue me for. Bucket loads. Seriously.

  27. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-08 19:21

    No, Frank, you’re mistaken. The site you put up is from one angry person who sent out a fake press release for a Congressional candidate claiming to have the endorsement of someone who never issued an endorsement. Your source also lacks a direct understanding of the South Dakota politics on which you are now presuming to comment. Check your sources, and check your knowledge.

    You’ve got my name. So does the rest of the Internet. Now please do us a favor and tell us yours. Only fair, right?

  28. Les 2015-06-08 20:20

    Interesting how the canabalism of Boz in this frenzy feeding drowns out a most pertinent point from two posts by Don Pay. Tara if afflicted as most say, is most certainly not alone.

  29. frank 2015-06-08 20:30

    You are the worst of all ms. [edited: …at which point Frank reveals that he does not know anything about us, resorts to needless insults that do not advance our understanding of the topic, and gets himself detention. Frank, when you have something relevant to say about the topic—South Dakota election law, the jury’s conviction of Annette Bosworth for felony perjury, and possible sentences—I’ll consider including it in the conversation. But if you’re just coming to throw punches at people you don’t know and don’t respect as fellow citizens, you’re in the wrong bar. —Cory Allen Heidelberger, owner, Dakota Free Press, 2015.06.08]

  30. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-06-08 20:50

    Nah Frank (?). I’m not playing name calling games with you.

  31. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-08 20:54

    Deb, my apologies for not removing Frank’s rude and irrelevant intrusion sooner.

  32. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-06-08 21:00

    Thanks Cory. I think it’s always a sign of weakness when one resorts to attempts at intimidation to silence disagreement. Like most people who’ve lived many decades, I’ve endured quite a lot and am not easily frightened. However, I am always grateful for support and thoughtfulness. So thanks again.

  33. Bob Newland 2015-06-08 21:16

    Assuming that even with multiple felonies Annette is eligible for a suspended imposition, I am inclined to think a judge would give it to her with no more restrictions than apply to anyone else; to whit, she completes whatever sentence is meted out (jail time, fine, probation period) without another crime more serious than a minor traffic offense. If she does that, then, supposedly, her felonies will be wiped off the books.

    That’s also assuming that she asks for a suspended imp. Its application is not automatic.

  34. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-08 22:50

    You know, Bob, suspended sentence might not let her play out the martyr show she’s building. It also would put her under the microscope on probation. She might have a hard time living under any such conditions.

  35. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-08 22:52

    …and now that Bosworth is promoting the absurd, distorting link from “frank” (I’m pretty sure that’s a fake name, and I’m suspicious it may belong to someone connected with the creation of that blog post) on her Facebook page, it’s pretty clear that Bosworth is not taking responsibility for her actions. She continues to peddle the narrative that she is a victim of everyone’s else’s persecution. Judge Brown, take note.

  36. Dave 2015-06-09 00:24

    My mother, if she were still alive, would describe Annette as someone “who needs her head examined.” If Annette would agree to such examination and treatment as one of the conditions of a plea agreement, she very likely could receive a suspended imposition … of course, I’m assuming that Annette would act as a reasonable person in her situation would … but, sadly, she appears to lack any sense of reason.

  37. leslie 2015-06-09 11:40

    most addicts and mentally ill defendants that get the grace of a suspended imp lose it forever as soon as craving kicks in causing them to do just what the court order said “don’t do that again”. craving kicks-in in a matter of minutes, or days, or longer for a particular individual. it is not a matter of will power, curing a mental illness.

    what a waste of lives by a justice system.

    The 24/7 program is also based on the same premise (legal system forbidding medical symptoms of disease) and some how the rand corporation think tank has declared SD’s program “cool beans” as another poster quipped. judges are frightened of MADD. heck with science, say SD republican prosecutors, judges, commissioners, police chiefs, legislators and voters.

  38. Bill Dithmer 2015-06-09 17:25

    “unfulfilled restitution order”

    Lets look at this from the Drs point of view. In reality, the guilty verdict was the best she could get for herself right now. She knows that her ability to earn a living has taken a serious hit. According to Jacklow, she has known for sometime where the line was drawn when it came to a deal but refused anything that meant the loss of her license.

    This gives Annette time to play the martyr for what, 2 years of 5? And with that fertile mind she also has plenty of time to write a book that she shouldnt have any trouble getting 7 numbers for. The book just wouldnt be as good with an aquital.

    ” unfulfilled restitution order” maybe I’m using it in the wrong context, but isnt that what a judge says when they wont let you make money from doing these things until all debts are paid? If it is he should. If it aint he should use the right words to do what I said.

    By the way, who said the state is finished after this trial with Chanett? Who knows what evil lurks in Marty Jacklows heart? Maybe hes working two separate lottery fraud cases with a couple of other things simmering on the back burnner just fishing for three strikes. Maybe not.

    Maybe Marty isnt trying to squeeze Annette, but use her to leverage Chad into a position to make your new license plates. Maybe not.

    My point is a book deal is in her and her families best interest unless the judge takes that away. Wasn’t there a turd roller from Texas named Lee that has writting experience? She could ask him for help.

    The Blindman

  39. grudznick 2015-06-09 18:19

    Most cannabis users already have psychosis. But not Lar or Bob.

  40. daleb 2015-06-09 18:35

    Generally suspended imps are part of a plea bargain. There were 6 separate acts of perjury. One could argue the filing if the false legal instrument is a singular act so if it was just 6 counts of filing a false legal instrument then ya a suspended imp would be in play. That said her sentence won’t be so severe that an imp would help a lot. Even with an imp she has a hard road to keeping her license.

  41. grudznick 2015-06-09 19:55

    Mr. Haber is no doubt a bit of an imp, but I hope they do not crash down and completely break the young Dr. Bos when they bring forth the punishments. I think a little public humiliation and some severe fines would be best. Maybe make her mop floors in a shelter or something too.

  42. bearcreekbat 2015-06-10 13:53

    “…the state attempted to negotiate plea arrangements that would have left the convicted petition perjurer “in a better place then she currently is in relation to any potential sentence or permanent record.” ”

    Cory, these are truly “weasel words” that mean virtually nothing. They certainly don’t imply that a misdemeanor was offered, or that the state did not reject an offer to plead to a misdemeanor. And they don’t imply that the state offered to dismiss 11 counts in exchange for a single felony plea.

    Indeed, the offer may have been to dismiss one count in exchange for a guilty plea to 11 counts, which is not much of an offer. Indeed, Jackley’s statement could even mean there was an offer to recommend a sentence of 20 years instead of the maximum 24 years if Bosworth plead guilty to all counts, in which case she technically would be “in a better place then she currently is in relation to any potential sentence or permanent record.”

    Roger, Neal beat me to it! I agree with his reading of State v. Schempp.

    Donald, daleb is correct that typically suspended imps are part of a plea bargain. That said, however, a prosecutor only has the authority to recommend or object to a suspended imp. The judge has full discretion to accept or reject the prosecutor’s recommendation. Although there was no plea bargain here, a prosecutor could still offer to support a suspended imp request in exchange for information or deeds from Bosworth that the prosecutor desires.

  43. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-10 14:42

    True, Bear! There is still room for AG Jackley’s statement and Howie’s claim to both be true. But Howie’s claim still awaits substantiation.

    “in exchange for information or deeds from Bosworth”—I don’t think Bosworth would ever give the state information… because the only information she’d have that would interest law enforcement would be information that would hang Chad.

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