Remember Sheryl Johnson’s formal complaint that Kristi Noem and the City of Sioux Falls violated campaign finance law in making taxpayers cover the cost of security for Donald Trump’s campaign rally for Noem on September 7? Secretary of State Steve Barnett decided this week that the complaint was serious enough to send to the Department of Criminal Investigation:
Secretary Barnett doesn’t say much; he mostly quotes SDCL 12-27-47, the statute governing reports of campaign finance violations. According to that statute, the Secretary of State could just sit on the complaint or reject it outright; referring the complaint to the Attorney General is allowed but not required. So at least Secretary Barnett has taken a step beyond what the law demands.
Interesting now will be DCI’s determination of whether there is probable cause to proceed with a contested case.