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Northern Beef Packers Increased Local Court Costs; New Angus to Bring More Public-Defender Cases?

In the externalities department, the Brown County Commission’s discussion of how to pay public defenders reveals one of the costs the public will bear if/when New Angus reopens the notorious Northern Beef Packers slaughterhouse. Attorney Scott Kuck, who is among the six lawyers currently contracted by Brown County for court-appointed work, said the beef plant means more work for the courts:

“We did some pretty thorough research on what it was costing and what was getting paid out. Another thing is, just two Mondays ago, we got 21 court appointments in one day. That is without the beef plant opening up. And I’m not making any judgments about the beef plant, but when it was open before, the amount of casework coming out of there increased significantly,” Kuck said [Shannon Marvel, “Cost Worries Drive Switch to Attorney Voucher System in Brown County,” Aberdeen American News, 2015.10.14].

Oh, Scott, you are making a judgment, and I thank you for doing so.

How many other new businesses bring with them a noticeable uptick in court activity and the need for public defenders? If an economic development project is worth enormous state investment, as was the case with Northern Beef Packers, shouldn’t we expect that project to create jobs that will allow employees to cover their own legal bills?

New Angus announced its hiring drive in August. We await its opening… as do our lawyers and courts.


  1. jerry 2015-10-14 11:17

    Yikes gad2357, not good news for beef processing. Of course, that kind of situation has been the norm for some time now. EB Rounds, Joop and the rest of the Hole in Wall Gang knew all about it. NBP was never about opening the doors for commerce, it was always meant to open the pockets of the crooks and liars in Pierre. All of these years later, and it is still only good to do one thing, be a We Grow location.

  2. mike from iowa 2015-10-14 15:53

    PM had a plant in Hartley,iowa which handled boxed beef. It was shuttered several years ago and stuff was moved to Windom. Hartley survived and got a quarter billion dollar ethanol plant which went bankrupt almost before starting production. Corn was contracted for over $7 a bushel and the new buyers were allowed to break the contracts so they wouldn’t go belly up right away. So far they are still going. In the winter you can see the white plumes from the plant nearly 15 miles away.

  3. Roger Elgersma 2015-10-14 16:12

    No, South Dakota does not produce good paying jobs and especially not enough to pay lawyers.

  4. David Newquist 2015-10-15 13:16

    When a group of citizens opposed the building of Northern Beef Packers, the basic premise of their opposition was that the plant would bring in workers of a kind who would raise the crime rate and the public expenses needed to deal with them. Now we have reports coming out of the County Commission that seem to confirm that premise. That raises questions that need no study, but some fundamental reporting of the public record. If there was an increase in the crime rate, what kinds of crimes were charged? How were the defendants connected to the beef plant? This information should be readily available from the courts.

  5. mike from iowa 2015-10-15 14:38

    However, tight cattle supplies ultimately led to the Aug. 14 announcement by Tyson Fresh Meats officials to announce the closure of the Denison plant, effective immediately.

    From meat and poultry magazine. Denison was scheduled to close in 2012,but was kept open even though Dakota city,Neb has a large expansion. Cattle market must still be tight.

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