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Former Schoenfish Campaign Helper Arrested for Grand Theft

In this week’s crime files, Cody James Gramkow of rural Olivet stands accused of stealing $67,000 worth of equipment:

According to a press release from the Yankton County Sheriff’s Office, Cody James Gramkow, 30, has been arrested and is being held in the Yankton County jail on Hutchinson County charges of grand theft and receiving stolen property.

A skid loader and equipment were reported stolen from Yankton’s Mark’s Machinery in July, according to the press release. The items, valued at approximately $50,000, were recovered from a rural Hutchinson County residence. Also recovered was a 3-axle flatbed trailer and equipment valued at approximately $17,000 that was reported stolen in May from an East River Electric job site near Napa Junction in Yankton County [staff, “Rural Olivet Man Arrested in Connection with Thefts,” Yankton Press & Dakotan, 2017.10.27].

I generally resist crime-of-the-week posts unless there’s a policy or political connection. Gramkow provides the latter: Poll Vault lists Cody Gramkow as campaign manager for District 19 Representative Kyle Schoenfish. Gramkow promoted Schoenfish on his Facebook page and celebrated Schoenfish’s reëlection in 2016 with this post:

Cody Gramkow, Facebook post, 2016.11.09.
Cody Gramkow, Facebook post, 2016.11.09.

Schoenfish appears to have returned the favor by deleting any post mentioning Gramkow from his campaign Facebook page. Here’s the cached version of what “campaign helper” Gramkow put on Schoenfish’s page on lection night 2016:

Cached version of deleted Facebook post, "Kyle Schoenfish for district 19 house" campaign FB page, 2016.11.09, retrieved 2017.10.29.
Cached version of deleted Facebook post, “Kyle Schoenfish for district 19 house” campaign FB page, 2016.11.09, retrieved 2017.10.29.

Schoenfish has a hard time noticing when millions of dollars go AWOL from a public agency making friends rich with a federal grant, but when a campaign associate might have swiped some farm equipment, mentions of that defendant’s name disappear from Schoenfish’s campaign page pretty quickly.


  1. Rorschach 2017-10-29 12:44

    $67,000 is a lot of swipeage. But since he is a GOP Party with connections and he’s charged in a GOP Party county he’s going to get probation and a suspended imposition of sentence just like the Joopster. This will all go away for him in short order.

  2. grudznick 2017-10-29 13:38

    Opportunist and political hack.

    Unrelated, Mr. Nelson’s partner-in-crime, Mr. Bender, passed away. I wonder if there were still charges against him for the illegal and unethical robocalling incident.

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-10-29 13:48

    Stealing skidloaders is a more significant crime than making phone calls. Rude, Grudz.

  4. Roger Cornelius 2017-10-29 14:40

    I have never been a big fan of Stace Nelson and have sparred with him frequently, but the Grudz’s post about him the more I like Stace.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-10-30 05:00

    Grudz is at least off topic, if not factually mistaken. Grudz should retract his statement.

  6. grudznick 2017-10-30 07:47

    Perhaps grudznick confused Mr. Bender with Mr. Willard. We don’t know that Mr. Bender was involved with the illegal robocalls or not, so I stand corrected.

    But I’m still right on Mr. H’s “crime beat” blogging. Next we will hear about numerous traffic tickets issued to the wife of a good solid Republican, I am sure.

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