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Committee Investigating House Sex Scandal Meets Tuesday, Invites Victims to Testify

KSFY reports that the House Select on Discipline and Expulsion investigating Representative Mathew Wollmann’s confessed sexual misconduct has sent a letter to legislative interns who served in 2015 and 2016 inviting them to submit complaints and testify at the committee’s hearing on Tuesday, January 24, at 3 p.m. at the Capitol. Here is the letter, signed by Legislative Research Council Director Jason Hancock:

LRC letter to interns 20170119 p1

LRC to Interns invite testify 20170119p2

Director Hancock notes that the committee may require witnesses to testify under oath and must give Representative Wollmann “the opportunity to confront and to question witnesses called by the committee.”

Legislative interns have unavoidable career interests which they hope to advance through their internship. Politicians in Pierre clearly recognize interns as their party’s farm team and look for talent to groom for jobs in Pierre, candidacies, or other leadership opportunities. This relationship is exactly why Representative Wollmann’s misconduct is not just young buckery but a pattern of predatory behavior that took advantage of his position of power. The interns’ aspirations are also why interns have thus far hesitated to come forward in a public forum to call out Rep. Wollmann’s misconduct, as they know Wollmann’s allies may well punish them politically for challenging both a rising party member and political leaders who apparently did not take action to stop that party member’s misconduct.

Recognizing that terribly uncomfortable position, Director Hancock writes that committee chairman Rep. Timothy Johns, a respected former circuit court judge, does not intend to require anyone to testify who does not want to take that risk. Hancock says Chairman Johns also intends “to keep the names of any interns that may have had sexual contact with Rep. Wollmann from appearing in any public forum or record, if they do not wish to testify.”

Those are good intentions to which we should hold Chairman Johns. We don’t need to force any testimony or subject any interns to shaming or nasty political repercussions from vengeful, misguided Republicans. Rep. Wollmann’s own admission of sexual misconduct, his own bald-faced lying on camera before deciding he wouldn’t get by with that lie, and the serious questions of who among the Legislature’s leaders, past and current, knew what when are enough to motivate this hearing and justify punitive action by the House.

But if enough interns do speak up, if they stake their claims in public, perhaps they can use the publicity of the hearing to insulate themselves from retribution. And if some Republicans do try to stick with Wollmann and punish those who have brought out the uncomfortable facts about his misconduct and the leadership’s moral laxity, they may find themselves in a minority, against a coalition of Republicans and Democrats with conscience, and no longer in a position of power from which to issue retribution for decency or rewards for silence.


  1. Jana 2017-01-21 20:22

    Over at the SDWhinersCollege Schoenbeck says he knows of a 45+ legislator who is a friend of Stace’s that was aggressively going after an intern. Lee needs to man up and name names of a sexual predator rather than trying to use the info to threaten Stace.

    Lee, if you know something you have an ethical and moral responsibility to do the right thing…not the political thing.

  2. Joe 2017-01-22 01:13

    This is exactly why most work places have policies involving people of power dating people that they are empowered over.Its not that it is legally or morally wrong. Its not that there is anything wrong with 2 adults having a relationship. Its that when it doesn’t work out and its made public all the other what ifs and buts come up.

  3. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 01:13

    Again if these “victims” claim the sexual contact was not “unwanted” you have no case and no scandal.

  4. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 01:19

    When you say it works out, what does that mean. That it isn’t made public? Or it ends up in a marriage? Sexual Harassment is very clear the acts must be unwanted to be harassment.

  5. Joe 2017-01-22 01:50

    If it doesn’t work out it ends poorly or becomes public in the wrong medium.

    Essentially if it ended south, the intern could say power was pushed upon or harassment occurred. If it comes out people are going to say things about others and then all hell breaks out simply because there is no clear guidelines for this.

  6. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 01:57

    Sexual Harassment Guidelines have been out for Decades Joe. The laws on it specifically protect someone from unwanted sexual advances. It doesn’t have to be form a supervisor, but anyone. The key part of any Harassment complaint is that someone is a victim and is claiming they are a victim.

    Sexual Harassment complaints are usually initiated by the victim(s). This is not the case here. So now because this is all public will we now have “victims”, that could be the case. No one wants their private activities brought out into the public eye or scrutiny.

    The leaders of the party should have kept this private until any possible “victims” were interviewed and then could act appropriately. Well too late.

  7. Joe 2017-01-22 02:21

    And that is what I’m getting at, non-harassment relationships are brought to the public light because there is no guidelines.

  8. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 02:37

    Ok Joe Yes there should be guidelines that protect the accused and any possible victims. That means this shouldn’t have been made public until the investigation was done. I can fully accept that. I don’t think we need guidelines that are absolute that says no Representative can date (sexually) an Intern. Then you will have someone screaming every time an Rep takes an intern to lunch or dinner. It gets really crazy real fast.

  9. mike from iowa 2017-01-22 06:57

    Slap and tickle with a party of family values, fauxknee kristian should be shame enough for any intern.

  10. mike from iowa 2017-01-22 07:01

    Again if these “victims” claim the sexual contact was not “unwanted” you have no case and no scandal.

    I’d love to see a teacher use this excuse for shagging a student that was in his/her class and above the age of consent.

  11. Darin Larson 2017-01-22 07:42

    Mike Boswell, You seem to be assuming that sexual harassment is the only consideration of whether this was inappropriate conduct by Wollmann. Legislators clearly have a much broader code of conduct and ethics than just a prohibition against sexual harassment. There are many reasons why this was not a proper relationship. Lying about it initially doesn’t help his case.

    The best indicator of whether this was proper or not was the joint committee’s words and action in rejecting Stace Nelson’s explicit prohibition against sexual contact with interns. They rejected it because they said it was already prohibited conduct.

    We have been over this ad nauseam. Are you deliberately being obtuse?

  12. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 09:55

    Darin I think legislature probably doesn’t think Stace Nelson’s explicit Prohibition is not necessary, because these incidents are not “unwanted”. But they don’t want to tell the Senator directly that’s why. From what I have seen posted here would necessarily cause the expulsion of Wollman, if the “victims” don’t claim they have been victimized. So I would put forward that the Joint Committee intends to make this very public and then during the investigation find out if their victims or not. If not, Wollmann will be given a warning and press on.

    Think they told Stace Nelson that it already prohibited that conduct (they assuming there are victims) and placated him.

  13. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 10:16

    I should phrase this better. Sexual Harassment to be a crime assumes that someone is victimized. The legislature knows this and is why they rejected Stace Nelson’s prohibition. Possibly they are assuming they will find victims in their investigation.

    That said you don’t need to exclusively prohibit acts that is already covered in the definition of Sexual Harassment. If what Wollmann did was wanted contact, then it isn’t Sexual Harassment and there is no need for additional legislation.

    Teacher/Student may have additional prohibition from the independent Universities. But when they become public, they still look to see if there are victims. The teacher is reprimanded.

    Rep Wollmann will not leave this situation without some kind of official warning about his conduct.

    Now is this a scandal or corruption. Only if there are victims. Sorry no I am not being obtuse, but putting some reality in the situation.

    Cory salivates at the chance to get a Republican Politician in a something he can call corrupt.

    Probably to compensate that he couldn’t get either Governor in EB5 or Gear Up.

  14. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-22 11:50

    Mike Boswell
    What is your definition of victim? I am curious to know so I can make an informed response.

  15. grudznick 2017-01-22 11:54

    If the young lady wanted to sex with Mr. Wollmann there is no problem here.

    This is about Mr. Nelson being the Shame Nun.

    When they get around to Mr. Nelson’s 45+ friend who is now in the Senate with him it will be about unwanted contact, and that is a march of a different cadence all together.


  16. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 12:01

    In Sexual Harassment the sexual contact must be unwanted. Thus in order to be Sexual Harassment is that the “victim” is pursued doesn’t want the advances of the other party. In most cases the “victim” states to the other party it is unwanted and yet that party persists. In that case Sexual Harassment applies. Being a Vet you get to spend many hours each year listening to Sexual Harassment avoidance training.

  17. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-22 12:11

    So in this case there will be no victims because all involved are old enough to consent?

  18. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 12:22

    No Francis that could be the case, but the investigation isn’t done. One of these intern can say the advances of Mr Wollmann was unwanted. That changes everything. Also realize that now this is public it taints the entire process. This investigation should be done behind closed doors, so that we can get the honest response from all involved.

    At this point what Grudznick is more accurate. in his post It is about shaming not about breaking rules.

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2017-01-22 12:24

    Mike Boswell, why are you so interested in defending behavior that the person who engaged in the behavior has already admitted was unacceptable? What public interest do you serve by defending legislators boinking interns?

    As Darin points out, this investigation does not hinge on Mike Boswell’s narrow parsing of the definition of “sexual harassment” and “victim.”

    So let’s drop your quote marks and answer this question: is it morally acceptable for a legislator to have sexual contact with an intern?

    Note that Director Hancock and Chairman Johns are calling for testimony relating to rules on ethical conduct, including but not limited to sexual harassment. So let’s look at Joint Rule 1B-1 and phrase the question this way: Does a legislator have sexual relations with multiple interns “maintain the highest of moral and ethical standards… to assure the trust, respect and confidence of our citizens”?

    Let’s look at Joint Rule 1B-3 and phrase the question this way: May a legislator’s pursuit of multiple interns for sexual contact be considered “offensive behavior”, “unreasonably interfer[e] with an individual’s work performance,” or “create[] an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment”?

    Let’s look at Joint Rule 1B-4 and phrase the question this way: Does a legislator pursuing multiple interns for sexual contact “observe the highest standards of public conduct”?

    Note, Mike Boswell, that we can answer all of those questions independently of whether or not the interns wanted the sexual contact. A man surrounded by willing sex partners still has ethical obligations.

  20. caheidelberger Post author | 2017-01-22 12:31

    No, Boswell, it’s not about shaming. That’s what Wollmann’s defenders are threatening to do in hopes of warding off any testimony.

    But this investigation should be done behind closed doors and does not need to be. We have all necessary information on the public record. Wollmann has admitted to sexual misconduct with interns. That’s an abuse of power. Wollmann lied on camera about that misconduct before the press scared him into confessing. That’s unethical conduct. We can get legislators to testify under oath what they knew, when they knew it, and what action they took to stop the misconduct. Any cover-up on behalf of Wollmann was an abuse of power. We discuss all of that, have due process, and issue punishment without embarrassing or even naming any of Wollmann’s sexual partners.

  21. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-22 12:39

    Mike Boswell
    If any intern makes a statement that there was unwanted sexual contact would that be a crime? Not just sexual harassment?

  22. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 12:50

    Cory let’s do this. “is it morally acceptable for a legislator to have sexual contact with an intern?” Let’s take this to a wider view is it morally acceptable for a supervisor to have sexual contact with a subordinate. It is acceptable for a supervisor to have sexual contact with a subordinate, so long as that contact is consensual and wanted. That answers that question. Does having sexual contact with a subordinate, put you in a position for criticism. You bet it does. Does it equate to Sexual Harassment no, should you be expelled for it, no. Should you get a stern warning, yes.

    It’s only intimidating the work place or causing interference, when that sexual contact is unwanted. Thus why there are rules on Sexual Harassment are well written and trained on.

    Stace Nelson is not guardian angel of the Legislature. He likes to stir up stuff just to see it stew. You are included in this. Let’s stir up stuff just to see what happens. Then let’s call it corruption. This should never have become public knowledge until the investigation is done. That’s why personnel issues are closed door.

  23. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 12:54

    Sexual Harassment in the private sector is a minimum a reprimand from the employer or a termination by the employer. Jail time as a crime no, but you could be sued for your acts.

  24. Stace Nelson 2017-01-22 12:56

    As a result of dishonest politicians claiming they heard about the dishonorable conduct in the Capitol “yesterday” (that had in fact been reported REPEATEDLY to House “leadership” over the last 2 years) through an email I forwarded to them of the extensive misconduct reported to me by legislators and former interns, the press has asked for those emails. Friday I emailed that disclosure in advance to every current member of the House, and several current senators who served in the House 2015-2016. The press will have full use of all those emails effective tomorrow morning.

    For the last two weeks I’ve been attacked in a desperate and dishonest effort to distract from the lies and misconduct of these legislators. Now, some of those same cowards are attacking the victims of this misconduct and attempting to discredit and shame them.

    As the information in those emails come to light, you will be able to clearly see every effort was made to address the problem WITHOUT highlighting the offender and victims as I did not have specifics. As legislators and former interns came forward with specifics, as a result of legislators opposing rules I proposed to address this KNOWN misconduct, I was obligated to forward that information on.

    I will have more to say as I accommodate the numerous requests for interviews and comments from the press I have so far declined.

    I will close by condemning the dishonorable conduct, lies, and abuse of authority, that has been abusive of all those who were targeted and who have now had to deal with it, as well as the attached ignorant cowardice of those attempting to now blame the victims.

  25. Darin Larson 2017-01-22 13:07

    Mike Boswell, you are like a dog that won’t let go of its favorite bone.

    You say “It is acceptable for a supervisor to have sexual contact with a subordinate, so long as that contact is consensual and wanted. That answers that question.”

    Wrong again, Mike. In many, if not most workplaces, sexual contact with a subordinate is prohibited even if the situation does not constitute sexual harassment. In the case of the legislature, their code of conduct is not merely the minimum required by law as you seem want to portray, but the highest standards of ethics and morality. Wollmann admitted his infraction, the joint rules committee felt that the rules already prohibited sexual contact with interns, but you seem to be the only one left who doesn’t understand this.

  26. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 13:07

    No if as Stace Nelson has pointed out that there are truly victims involved. Then this changes everything. At that point Sexual Harassment applies and any one who committed these acts should be taken to task. Again let’s see what happens in the investigation.

  27. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 13:08

    oops Now if

  28. Darin Larson 2017-01-22 13:10

    Sexual harassment is an additional violation of the code of conduct that could be present here. It is only one part of what could be multiple ethical and moral infractions.

  29. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 13:11

    Darin Larson while rules committee “felt” the rules already prohibited doesn’t make it so. Again what is written down is the key. I have seen nothing written down that doesn’t fit any other Sexual Harassment rules I have seen already. Now how the rules committee acts does on these rules will affect how they are perceived going forward.

  30. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 13:13

    Darin that is again opinion. Let’s see what can be proven first.

  31. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-22 13:20

    So why would a person who thinks she has been a victim of unwanted sexual contact testify before this group? She should just go to the police with her claim and let the legal system take care of the situation. This apparently is a conspiracy if what Mr. Nelson says proves true.

  32. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 13:33

    Actually you would not go to the police you would contact the Human Resource individual of the workplace or hire a lawyer. The local women’s resource center would be an option.

  33. Darin Larson 2017-01-22 13:34

    I feel like I’m punching a tar baby here.

    The rules don’t say specifically “don’t have sex with interns.” They also don’t say “don’t cheat your neighbor” or “don’t steal” or “don’t cat-call women in the gallery.” The rules also may not specifically prohibit lying. But all of these examples are infractions of a code of conduct that demands the highest ethical and moral standard from our legislators.

  34. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 13:41

    Darin I have never said there wasn’t going to be a punishment for what Rep Wollmann has done. Just that it might not be expulsion.

  35. bearcreekbat 2017-01-22 13:46

    Boswell’s argument raises this question: How would a legislator know whether an intern wanted or did not want the sexual advance until the legislator actually makes that sexual advance, whether vocally or physically? Does he get a free pass (pin intended) to make sexual advances simply because he does not yet know how the intern will react?

    If so, then where does that leave the intern? If she doesn’t want the advance and says so, she knows that her future advancement might now be compromised do to her rejection of someone more powerful. If she allows the advance for that reason has she actually consented, or is the consent coerced by the uneven playing field she finds herself on?

  36. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 13:51

    bearcreekbat I am not saying what you point out doesn’t happen. But if the intern (I will refrain from saying she) does say it is unwanted. Let say that something happens that keeps the intern from advancing because the intern said no, there are many lawsuits and dollars won over those cases.

  37. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-22 14:01

    Mike Boswell
    I am confused. Apparently I have the information wrong. Please correct me where I am wrong. I heard consenting adults from which I inferred sexual intercourse was involved. If this was unwanted sexual intercourse I believe that is the crime of rape. How am I doing so far? Any rape should be reported to authorities so the evidence chain can be preserved, correct? Are members of the legislature mandatory reporters? If so then anyone with suspicion should have reported.

  38. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 14:14

    NO Francis sexual contact doesn’t have to be intercourse but could lead to intercourse. A much different thing.

  39. Rorschach 2017-01-22 14:14

    Sen. Nelson, you repeatedly use the term “victims.” You obviously know more about this situation than I do, but at this point I don’t know whether anyone is a “victim.” I know that legislative leadership says that the current rules for legislators prohibit sex with interns and pages, but that doesn’t necessarily tell me that anyone who had sex with Rep. Wollmann is a “victim.” What I am looking for is whether anybody feels they were victimized or otherwise taken advantage of or imposed upon. If not, then the apparent rule violation warrants a lesser punishment than if the inherent power imbalance were exploited. Either way, Rep. Wollmann’s actions show poor judgment on his part.

    I still believe that the leadership knew about this a long time ago and probably joked with Wollmann this year about “we know you like dating interns so we hired your fiance as an intern for this session ha ha ha.”

  40. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-22 14:17

    Mike Boswell
    Then I am wrong no sexual intercourse happened?

  41. grudznick 2017-01-22 14:27

    Stacey Nelson is giggling.

  42. caheidelberger Post author | 2017-01-22 14:27

    No, Mike, you misword my question. You don’t get to explode it to all supervisory situations (though I think I could hold my position on that broader ground) or respecify the question back to sexual harassment. Get back to the salient question: is it acceptable for legislators to have sex with interns?

    I reject your expansion of the question because, as the Joint Rules say, legislators are held to the highest standards, higher perhaps than many other workplaces and supervisory situations.

    I reject your narrowing of the question to sexual harassment because, as Director Hancock’s letter indicates, we are looking at rules that encompass more than sexual harassment.

    Francis, sex happened. Wollmann said so. More than one partner, two years in a row. By pre-legal but politically peddled Family Heritage Alliance standards, that’s wrong. By the language of 2016 HB 1107, the Sharia-for-Jesus bill that Wollmann sponsored and voted for along with a majority of the House, “Sexual relations are properly reserved to marriage.”

    If Wollmann believes business owners should be able to discriminate against workers and customers who have sex outside of marriage, then he (and anyone else who voted for 2016 HB 1107) should be prefectly fine with holding a sitting legislator to an even higher standard and punishing him for having all sorts of pre-marital sex with young people in an officially subordinate position to his elected authority and his role in the party.

  43. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 14:29

    again no there is probably sexual intercourse happening. But in sexual harassment there doesn’t have to be sexual intercourse, just the asking for sexual favors and if that is unwanted is enough. It doesn’t have to go to the extreme case of Rape.

  44. Jenny 2017-01-22 14:40

    Stace, thanks for bringing this out in the open. Legislators should be held to a higher standard. I think we just hope that this doesn’t drag on and take up all the time the legislature has. There are more important issues.

  45. Mike Boswell 2017-01-22 14:41

    Cory, again I have never said that Wollmann would not receive a reprimand. But from the rules I have read so far there is not real difference than the standards always held for Sexual Harassment. While committee members may say publically that legislators are held to higher standards, what is done when they act on them. They look to the actual laws. I think it is their hope that some of the “victims” have in fact been victimized and this makes their jobs much easier.

    Wollmann’s denial and then admittance that he did wrong doesn’t mean he will get removed. It does assure a reprimand or censure.

    The conversation of consensual sex out of wedlock and discriminating against those who do is not worthy of discussion.

    If you want to make an argument of hypocrisy, well that could be said of lots of things (including the Women’s March). It is the condition of being human.

  46. grudznick 2017-01-22 14:42

    Mr. Nelson, is there any more important issue to the legislatures than their integrity? I submit to you that you should hunt down every instance of this sort of behavior dating back at least 4 or 6 years from the time that you started serving and root it all out. If you do not, sir, you are a hypocrite.

  47. Jenny 2017-01-22 14:53

    Okay let me play sociology professor and ask this – how about if a SD legislator was openly gay and having consensual sex with an openly gay intern. Would that be okay with the legislature?
    Or how about a transgender legislator having sex with a transgender intern?
    How about a female legislator having sex with a male intern?

    South Dakota likes to legislate morality but not when it comes to the heterosexual GOP male getting some.

  48. grudznick 2017-01-22 15:07

    Ms. Jenny:
    – maybe
    – no
    – yes

  49. Rorschach 2017-01-22 15:32

    Jenny’s questions sound like the selection criteria to be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. You don’t get to be a delegate unless you are an Asian gay person under the age of 25, a transgendered person, a Muslim woman, the only pacific islander in the room during delegate selection, or if you are white you have to walk with a limp and talk with a lisp – then you may get to be a delegate.

  50. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-22 15:46

    Does anyone on this thread have knowledge if alcohol was shared? Alcohol for me changes the consent question.

  51. Jenny 2017-01-22 15:51

    That is a very good question, Francis, and will likely be brought up during chapter two of this latest Pierre scandal – “the Committee hearing”. Stay tuned……

  52. Roger Cornelius 2017-01-22 16:37

    Finally I find myself agreeing with my usual nemesis, Stace Nelson.
    Boswell has repeatedly stated that Wollman’s revelation should never have reported until after a hearing was held.
    Wollman’s sexual antics had been going on for a full two years with the party leadership aware of it and they did nothing but attempt to cover it up.
    If Stace hadn’t gotten the ball rolling on Wollman we probably never would have heard about it.
    Which leads me to the next question, how much more don’t we know about legislators potentially compromising behavior?

  53. grudznick 2017-01-22 16:55

    There is Mr. Nelson’s friend in the Senate, Mr. C. And there is Mr. Nesiba. And there are no doubt many, many more.

  54. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-22 18:07

    Mike Boswell
    I am now really confused. You keep mentioning sexual harassment, yet you know that sexual intercourse was involved. Why? I don’t believe any women who felt victimized should step forward as this committee will allow Mr. Wollman to question her. It seems wrong on the part of the LRC to allow this. I wonder who young Mr. Wollman may take with him?

  55. mtr 2017-01-22 19:46

    I believe it is important to keep it simple. The question is, “Should a South Dakota legislator have sex with an intern?” No ifs, ands or buts….

  56. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 00:52

    mtr I ask why not so long as both parties agree to it. It’s no ones business at that point. Both are unmarried consenting adults. But if Mr Wollmann is using his position to force consensual sex, that is Sexual Harassment and there will be a victim.

    Cory and others have brought up the point that the committee says the standards are already set to that even it was consensual and there was no victim. It will still be immoral. It isn’t written down that way on paper. Now the commission could interpret it in that light, but Rep Wollmann could take this to court and possibly win. Even with his admission.

    His admission in this circumstance is to assure that he isn’t lying to the commission. Sure he denied it start, most would. But now (unlike other politicians) he is owning up to what happened. You don’t want to get caught lying to legislative commission. There could be serious consequences.

    Should he receive some kind of punishment for this, yes but depending on if there are victims determines how severe that punishment should be.

    This should never be made public this is a personnel issue and in that case this should be closed door sessions to protect all sides.

    Did other legislators know this was going on like Stace Nelson has said, well that is again up to the commission to determine and rule on. If they did know and didn’t do anything especially if there was a victim, they are equally guilty. At that point Cory and Stace are correct that is corruption.

    Again is this a scandal, yes if there are victims. Did Rep Wollman put himself in a bad positon and should receive some kind of censure yes. But I still don’t think that merits scandal.

    Francis Shaffer, Sexual Harassment can occur before any sexual intercourse was performed. Mr Wollmann will not be questioning any of the “victims” the committee will (if they come forward). Now I don’t know the rules, but Mr. Wollmann may not be allowed to be present during this questioning.

    There is a lot of things here that smell bad, but this commission has got to sort it out now and make appropriate rulings.

    I still believe that many are looking for corruption, when it doesn’t exist. But this case may be one where it does. WE will see. Let the commission do their jobs.

  57. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 01:02

    My old SD Guard Commander will be part of the legislative commission, so I am sure this will be above board.

  58. suka sapa 2017-01-23 10:13

    Let’s talk about “victims” for a moment. Some say since the relationship was consensual and the person in power was not directly “supervising” the other party then there is no harm. But the concept of victim can include others if the “supervised” employee in the relationship receives undue benefits as a result of that relationship, such as obtaining a job as a result. What about the other interns who might have been more qualified for a position, had been interested in the position, but were passed over or otherwise not considered simply because that employee was not in a relationship with a person in power. Is that passed-over person not agrieved?

  59. Roger Cornelius 2017-01-23 12:22

    Matt Wollman apparently has dodged the committee hearing by resigning from the senate this morning.

  60. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 13:28

    So does that mean there will be no hearing? Did Matt Wollmann fall on the sword to end the issue? Interesting.

  61. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-23 13:57

    Mike Boswell
    Forced consensual sex? I have read many comments which I find objectable, yet this ranks near the top of my list now. Forced consensual sex is not by the definition of forced, consensual. I and many of my friends would call this rape. I don’t believe this should go away at the legislature, many questions should be asked of the leadership about Mr. Wollman’s behavior.

  62. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 14:38

    I am not convinced that Mr Wollmann force himself on these Interns at all. I think what you have is consensual sexual activities and it became public. Now you have a person in a position above the other and now others are crying foul. Mr Wollmann admitted he probably shouldn’t have had sex with the interns, but he didn’t admit he used is position to get it. It was assumed by others he did. (That is equally wrong). Now that Mr Wollmann has resigned there are more questions than answers.

    I am not excusing Mr Wollmann, but I am not excusing those who would commit a witch hunt over very little wrong doing. If Mr Wollmann is right, he deserved no more than a reprimand. If he was wrong, then he deserves expulsion.

  63. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-23 17:36

    Mike Boswell
    Have you ever been sexually assaulted? From your comments my suspicion is No.

  64. caheidelberger Post author | 2017-01-23 18:12

    Boswell, you mentioned court. Had this matter gone forward to committee, and had the committee reached a decision Wollmann too adverse, he’d have had no legal recourse. The courts have interpreted SD Constitution Article Section 9 as giving each chamber ultimate authority to determine qualifications of members.

  65. caheidelberger Post author | 2017-01-23 18:15

    Francis, there is no clear admission or evidence of alcohol involved in Wollmann’s misconduct.

  66. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-23 18:15

    What is the budget for defense of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota?

  67. caheidelberger Post author | 2017-01-23 18:22

    Boswell, your standard of “unmarried consenting adults” is far too simplistic and general. We’re not talking about two strangers hooking up at the bar (although my mention of discrimination against people having sex outside of marrige was not gratuitous; it was one of the subjects of the bill I mentioned that Wollmann voted for last year, so don’t blame me; blame Wollmann for his snoopy GOP fake famly-values politics).

    As suka sapa notes, in a workplace like this, the relationship is not just a private matter between two consenting adults. As we have noted before, many workplaces—e.g., universities, the military—prohibit consensual sexual conduct and much lesser forms of fraternization between superiors and subordinates, specifically because the power dynamic creates doubt about consent and because the relationship creates problems for the integrity of professional interactions involving not just the two friends but all workers in their circle.

  68. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 18:55

    Cory have you ever served? Have you worked in Manufacturing? Well while incidents of fraternization between Officer and Enlisted ranks are rare, they do happen and if kept private go under the radar. Now between Non Comms and Airman that is not as uncommon and happens all too frequently. Yes Supervisors and subordinates. So long as advances are “not” unwanted nothing is said of these relationships. Either long term or short.

    Stace and You are like the boy’s crying wolf. You two want something to crow about just to have something to crow about.

    It matters less too you that you should be actually proving Wollmann used his position against the interns than spouting off about it. As far as Stace Nelson who are these Legislators that knew and did nothing. I notice you didn’t name any names here. Calling horsepoo on that.

    Simplistic and general is an excuse to attempt smear someone because they made a mistake. I never said Wollman didn’t make a mistake. I said it wasn’t a scandal.

    I say again Cory prove your scandal before you post one. This so far rates and bad behavior or putting yourself in a bad position.

    So Wollmann doesn’t hold himself to the same standards he would hold others too. Many people do that.

    If the investigation would have been done, Wollmann if found he didn’t use his office to bed these would have gotten a reprimand. If he did then expulsion.

    You hint on the real scandal here the other Legislators that knew and did nothing. Why aren’t press Stace Nelson to spill the beans.

    And yes suka sapa is right it can affect more than just the two involved but was that the case here. We don’t know.

    Francis Shafer has one of these interns said boo since this all started (NO). That kills your sexual assault theory out the window. Get real.

    This is a witch hunt (or as a friend said a slut shaming). It is hardly worth the type used except to show how petty Democrats are to find corruption anywhere.

    Again Cory prove your scandals.

  69. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 19:14

    Again Mr Wollmann never admitted he used is position as a State Legislature to bed these interns.

  70. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-23 19:15

    Mike Boswell.
    I was 6. I never talked to anyone about it until I was in my 50’s. Almost killed me to remain silent so long. My point silence proves nothing.

  71. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 19:20

    I don’t mean to be too coarse here, but Cory if you are a journalist get on with proving corruption. If you are a liberal blog host, then just say that is your position.

  72. jerry 2017-01-23 19:22

    Mr. Boswell, who cares what you think happened. The dude admitted to what happened. Your boy is a predator that got caught, he and his fiance will have to work that out and good luck to her on that one. Prove your scandals? Who needs to, they prove themselves.

  73. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 19:23

    While I empathize with your situation Francis, your situation may not even apply here. Maybe instead of sulking around just say your point and get on with it. Or even better prove that Mr Wollman used his position to bed these interns. I sure have seen anything here to convince me he did.

  74. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 19:24

    I haven’t seen anything

  75. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 19:26

    Jerry he admitted a mistake He didn’t say he was a predator. You are adding your own opinion And he’s not my boy. Quit being insulting.

  76. mike from iowa 2017-01-23 19:28

    Mike Boswell reminds me of the failed Howard Cosell dolls- the ones that even if you didn’t wind them up, they still blathered on and on. Geez, guy. Don’t you ever sleep?

  77. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-23 19:29

    Mike Boswell
    My point was silence proved nothing, no more no less. You interpret my questions and observations as sulking? How do you conclude this?

  78. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 19:34

    Your carefully worded questions in an attempt for me to say something you could use. It didn’t take a blind person to see where you were going. I didn’t take the bait. I was born in the dark, but not yesterday.

  79. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 19:35

    So Francis did you support William Jefferson Clinton?

  80. grudznick 2017-01-23 19:35

    Why isn’t Mr. Nelson spilling the beans on others in the legislatures he knows about, who served in the same chambers as he? And when those people are named, will you and he all insist on the same outcome?

  81. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-23 19:37

    Mike Boswell
    I am looking for honesty without pretense.

  82. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 19:39

    Francis you got honesty. That’s more than you will get from others.

  83. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-23 19:39

    Mike Boswell
    I did not support him. I don’t when people lie to me.

  84. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 19:40

    Well said Mr grudznick

  85. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-23 19:41

    Like when people lie to me.

  86. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 19:41

    I would then assume that applies to Hillary and Donald then.

  87. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-23 19:44

    I don’t like when people lie to me. I like it less when they lie about me. I registered as a Republican when Bill Clinton lied on national TV.

  88. jerry 2017-01-23 19:46

    Nope, he claimed he was the predator he is and then he quit. So there ya go.

  89. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 19:50

    Jerry I don’t see where he used those words.

  90. jerry 2017-01-23 19:50

    Mr. Boswell all of these swindler, predators, crooks and liars are your boys. You defend them, coddle them and bring them close to your bosom like a parent to your adorning boys. Yep, they are all yours Mr. Boswell, the whole lot…your boys.

  91. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 19:54

    yawn jerry

  92. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 20:02

    Jerry not once did this very young man say he was a predator. Your comments are what is wrong with these kind of blogs. They are irresponsible and wrong at a level you accuse others of.

  93. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 20:08

    Young men and women make mistakes This is one Mr Wollman will have to live with all his life. That’s probably punishment enough. Shame on you Jerry.

  94. grudznick 2017-01-23 20:11

    Before this opinion blogging ends, somebody needs to point out that this is another nail in the institutions of the legislatures, for what worthy young people are going to watch Mr. Nelson’s junior-high drama queen antics and Mr. Wollmann get raked over the coals and Mr. Sutton be publicly castigated, and with the others in the legislatures that will now have to stand to their past transgressions, what young person would want to be a part of that heinous mess? Plus the rudeness. grudznick does not like the rudeness.

  95. Roger Cornelius 2017-01-23 20:21

    Boswell just doesn’t get it.
    Cory doesn’t have to prove corruption exist in a blog or two, all he has to do is report the most reports and add his opinions, which he has a right to do.
    Watergate wasn’t over in a single report by the Washington Post, it took months and years to oust Nixon.
    Neither EB-5 and Gear Up are over, there are still trials and prosecutions going forward and even more information may be revealed.
    Such is the case with Wollman, his resignation doesn’t end here, there will still be or should be a fall out of those that covered this up for two years.
    It doesn’t make a damn bit of difference if the sex was consensual or non-consensual at this point, it only matters that Wollman admitted his illicit behavior and resigned. Who knows, his resignation may actually be a part of a cover up.
    Boswell keeps bringing up the stale news of Bill Clinton but has yet to mention child predator and Speaker of House Dennis Hastert who at this time is serving a prison sentence and trying to sue his victim.

  96. Roger Cornelius 2017-01-23 20:25

    Wollman is not a very young man, he is a 24 year old adult that was old enough to be elected and hold a responsible position in state government.
    Young men and women do make mistakes, so do old men and women, what is your point, Boswell?

  97. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 20:25

    Roger this all hints of hypocrisy and mud slinging.

  98. jerry 2017-01-23 20:25

    He sang it from the rooftops in bugtussle Mr. Boswell. He said, I am a predator that used my position to abuse those under my jurisdiction. The abuse of power as a sexual predator to those workers who trusted my position to protect them safely in their workplace, but only after I got my butt caught, causes me to resign. I do this willingly in the hopes that everyone forgets about it to keep all the rest of my fellow robber barons protected, I quit. Shame on the lot Mr. Boswell, shame on the lot.

  99. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 20:28

    Jerry you are completely full of horsepoo and where is that noted liberal empathy. I have probably shown more empathy to that young man that all of those posted here and I am the Republican. Many a 20yr old have committed acts far worse than Mr Wollmann and are given second chances. You would condemn him forever because he chose to be a Republican. That’s your shame Jerry.

  100. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-23 20:29

    Thank you for mentioning Denny. Jerry Sandusky, Cardinal Law, the list is long and continues to grow because good people stand by and do nothing.

  101. grudznick 2017-01-23 20:29

    Stace giggling. Stace giggling.

  102. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 20:30

    Roger if he was a Democrat I am more than willing to bet you would be a lot more generous. I don’t make that distinction. I didn’t even know what party Mr Wollmann was until well after I start asking questions and making comments here.

  103. jerry 2017-01-23 20:40

    I only have empathy for the fair treatment of women Mr. Boswell. When bully’s abuse their positions, they deserve no empathy from me. This did not just happen to one lady there Mr. Boswell, do you see a pattern?

  104. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 20:43

    Jerry who are you to sit in Judge of young people in their 20s. Are you the almighty himself. Hardly. No one has proven that he wasn’t fair to these ladies. You assume and judge too much.

  105. Roger Cornelius 2017-01-23 20:46

    Boswell is a fool on a fools errand, get down in the mud of South Dakota and start slinging it.
    You blithely condemn Bill Clinton and yet offer empathy for first this “young man” and later add “this very young man” and than have the gull of accusing me hypocrisy and mud slinging. Pot and kettle Mike, pot and kettle.
    This is a liberal blog with mostly liberal and Democratic commenters, if you think you are going to garner any support here, you are wrong. Take your republican self-serving comments to the Powers blog, they’ll offer you a lot of love.

  106. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 20:49

    LOL as I thought Roger proof that there is only sides to be taken. Well we keep taking sides eventually you get the first battle. I used Clinton to point out the Hypocrisy. Hey you don’t like it. Keep dividing.

  107. grudznick 2017-01-23 20:50

    I support Mr. Boswell. I think he simply tries to call out many of you who are overreaching in your castigation. And Mr. C, this young Mr. Wollmann is hardly older than many of your drawers and the ones I used to have. He is very young and it is accurate to say so.

  108. Darin Larson 2017-01-23 20:52

    I’m a glutton for punishment. . . .

    Mike Boswell, Mr. Wollmann’s conduct has besmirched the honor and integrity of the legislature in which he served. He pledged to serve with the highest level of morality and ethics. He failed to meet that pledge not once, but at least twice, and then lied about it.

    I don’t know if the proper punishment was expulsion, but since he resigned without the committee being able to examine all of the circumstances of his conduct, we have to assume that that was the appropriate disciplinary action.

  109. jerry 2017-01-23 20:54

    Oh no sir Mr. Boswell, I only judge those who we elect to do the righteous fair work of a lawmaker. See that is the difference. Now I would no more judge a 20 year old horn dog than a teenager, no sir. I will however judge a bully that uses his elected position to abuse the young women he is entrusted to protect in their job places though. It is good to know that a sexual predator has been outed finally though. Those that protected his sorry ass should resign as well, they are as guilty with their silence as he is with his abuse. As always, the innocent pay. In this case, young women in the seat of power for the state. What kind of insanity runs the asylum in Pierre? Those are your boys Mr. Boswell, go on down there and buy them some drinks, keep it a hundred though as you know how well they watch the rules for themselves.

  110. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 20:57

    I would say the issue is over. But the reason it was blown out of proportion is not. Maybe I will leave you with this. Think of yourself at 20 or your coworkers you supervised at 20. Or your kids at that age. Maybe then you can see a bit deeper. Maybe 20 somethings shouldn’t be in the legislature. Maybe they should get over their hormones first. Either way I think some deeper thought is needed.

  111. Roger Cornelius 2017-01-23 21:00

    It appears that the “very young” Wollman being a Marine taught him nothing.
    Is being a Marine another justification for his behavior?

  112. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 21:04

    Jerry you state things without proof good thing you had behind that screen. You slander a young man without knowing if he used his position to gain advantage. That makes you worse than him.
    I have worked with and supervised young men and women at that age and they make mistakes. Some much worse than this one. They do get second chances. You would slander him so there is no second chance. You slander me because it what makes you feel better. That sir is a bully. pot and kettle like Roger said.

  113. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 21:05

    hide behind

  114. Jenny 2017-01-23 21:06

    Really people! You would thing this is the first time in the history of the world that a public official had sex with an intern! Isn’t there anything more interesting happening in the legislature? Move on!!!

  115. jerry 2017-01-23 21:07

    Yeah, lets think of a 20 year old in charge. Lets do that Mr. Boswell, let it be clear that he was not a worker, he was the boss. See this is where you show that you really don’t know much about business and how it works. You have never had any kind of responsibility other than to wipe your own fanny so you are clueless on what it takes to have the responsibility of treating those under you with fair treatment. You know, the golden rule. Your boy abused his authority. If he would have been the horn dog you profess, he would have fought it. You and your boys have plenty of money to toss around to fund races around the state, so picking a few grand from your owners would not have been difficult. Nope, your boy opted out to protect the rest of the maggots on the carcass. We should not worry too much for him though, he will land on his feet. A few years from now, he will come back to the cartel for a plum job because he knows how to keep his mouth shut. You have quite a crew Mr. Boswell, you must be mighty proud of your boys.

  116. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 21:07

    Roger even being in the military doesn’t mean he won’t make mistakes any other 20 something hasn’t. I can assure you 20 somethings in the military do and have made these kind of mistakes and worse.

  117. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 21:08

    Jerry I was a shift supervisor in my 20s so don’t judge me.

  118. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 21:12

    I also knew shift supervisor in their 20s that did similar things as Mr Wollman did most times with nothing more on their mind than to hang out and have fun. It end up being more than that.

  119. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 21:20

    yes boys will be boys but also boys and girls will be boys and girls.

  120. jerry 2017-01-23 21:23

    Mr. Boswell, you prove your ignorance more and more with each keystroke. Man, can you not see the difference between a shift supervisor and the man who writes the checks? You see, you answer to the boss, the boss does not answer to you. The boss gets to tell you where the shipment goes. The boss gets to tell you how you will do this and you will do that for the good of the company. The boss does this in a fair way. The boss does not abuse authority by making unwanted sexual advances to someone who has put their trust into a safe workplace. Your boy abused his authority and bullied his way for his own sexual needs as a boss no less. Then he asked his fellow bosses to keep quiet about it. Of course Mr. Boswell, you would not have had the moral courage to say no to something that you knew your fellow bosses were doing as you just wrote. You and your boys, quite something indeed.

  121. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 21:25

    Jerry really as a shift supervisor I wrote reports on my subordinates that would be based on their next promotions. I think the ignorance is yours.

  122. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 21:30

    In the Military the NCO is the boss and can make or break his subordinates. Just like the civilian world and just like someone in the legislature. Again you show your ignorance in not realizing this. I was in my 20s as a supervisor I was in my 30s Teaching those in their 20s. I was in my 40s watching those in their 20s in their first military action. I have been in industry in my 30s to now 50s working and teaching 20 somethings to succeed in life. So maybe I know a bit about the mistakes they make. I will add I am the Uncle of many Nieces and Nephews that went through their 20s and made mistakes much worse that Mr Wollmann. Yes I was tough on their mistakes, but I was equally fair. That’s all I have asked is to be fair. Find out if he abused his position first, before judging him. Or do you just want to Judge.

  123. jerry 2017-01-23 21:35

    Always a bridesmaid never a bride Mr. Boswell. Pretty obvious you do not have near the caliber it takes to be responsible for the whole enterprise. Then you flunked your drug test, way to go there tiger. No wonder you fit in with your boy.

  124. jerry 2017-01-23 21:40

    How did that flunking your drug test work you in the military son?

  125. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 21:40

    I flunked one drug test in more than 20 some. That was due to the fact my finger was laying out to the side of my hand and the Dr didn’t want wait for the Monitor. But nice try.

  126. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 21:42

    Oh I forgot to mention it was after I retired and it was due to an explosive accident.

  127. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 21:42

    Judging again Jerry.

  128. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 21:44

    Yeah I led you down that path to see if you would take the bait.

  129. jerry 2017-01-23 21:47

    You are not that smart Mr. Boswell. You always put the bait out but you eat yourself. Flunking a drug test is kind of like flunking an open book test.

  130. Mike Boswell 2017-01-23 21:48

    lol nice trying to cover up your Judging. Hypocrisy is thick here.

  131. Francis Schaffer 2017-01-24 11:42

    I believe this is what the Women’s marches were all about this past weekend. Also it illustrates one more example of why an anti-corruption ethics board needs to be created and granted authority to find the truth.

  132. Stace Nelson 2017-01-30 11:17

    What the laymen defenders of the indefensible are ignoring is the tacit admission (on steroids) of the accused. 50% of the sordid misconduct is now before the public eye. His uncle and other defenders are now conspicuously silent, and even more telling is that he is silent AND he voluntarily resigned. He cannot, and will not make further statements about this out of fear of the tidal wave of the rest of the 50% that will come crashing down upon his and others heads. Instead, they will hide from the public eye and mutter that it was a “witch hunt” a “political vendetta” to distract from the indefensible ugly truths of the misconduct.

    To be clear, when confronted with the accusations against him in the emailed accounts to all the House members, and with a deliberative body empaneled with several ardent supporters, the 26 year old educated man tendered his resignation. That goes WELL beyond a tacit admission

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