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Fresh DSS Lawyer Gets Promotion, $18K Raise in First Year

I worry that the Department of Social Services may be about to lose a really good lawyer.

Last May, I reported that the Department of Social Services had hired attorney Jeremy Lippert. My Googling indicated that there is a Jeremy Lippert from Washington D.C. who happens to have married one fellow Beltway politico Maggie Seidel, which happened to be the name of Governor Kristi Noem’s then recently hired spin-doctress.

Lippert’s starting salary at pay grade “Attorney II” was $80K in Fiscal Year 2020. On July 1, state employees got a 2% raise, so one would expect Lippert’s pay to rise to $81.6K; however, the Attorney II pay grade at DSS is currently rated at $74,989.02 to $80,409.37.

So Lippert was already making more than typical Attorneys II at DSS. But his lawyering must have really distinguished him from the local talent. The DSS staff and program directory lists Lippert as the director of the Division of Legal Services, meaning he’s in charge of all public recored requests:

Department of Social Services, Staff and Program Directory, screen cap 2021.03.18.
Department of Social Services, Staff and Program Directory, screen cap 2021.03.18.

And says Lippert has been promoted to Attorney IV, and his pay has jumped 20.5 percentage points above the standard 2.0% raise, to $98,000 a year:

Jeremy Lippert, DSS Attorney IV,, screen cap 2021.03.18.
Jeremy Lippert, DSS Attorney IV,, screen cap 2021.03.18.

$98K is the only pay rate listed for the Attorney IV pay grade at DSS; that’s also the lowest salary for that pay grade. Attorneys IV in Revenue, Transportation, and the Attorney General’s office are all making an extra digit, from $101,572.42 to $111,548.53.

But wowza: to get a 20% raise and a promotion in one’s first year on the job indicates Lippert must have some real skills. If Mr. Lippert really is Mr. Seidel, and if Mrs. Seidel’s new “incredible opportunity” takes both her and DSS’s director of legal services away from Pierre, it will be a darn sham to lose such high-powered, cash-worthy lawyering from state government.


  1. John 2021-03-18 19:13

    Sarcasm here: good thing South Dakota has pro-active legislative over-sight of the executive branch.

    What. A. Bunch. Of. Lapdogs.

  2. Arlo Blundt 2021-03-19 00:49

    There is a great sucking sound coming from Pierre as the talent picks up and moves down the pike….you’ve got to make hay while the sun shines

  3. jake 2021-03-19 09:56

    what is that giant sucking sound coming from Pierre since Noem was elected??!

  4. grudznick 2021-03-19 12:10

    Clearly this young fellow is a hard working, smart man. The sort who deserve to get raises. For all the whiners out there, you have two options. Work harder, or sit around and wait for your free money that was made up by the government. But for Mother Earth’s sake, quit yer bitching about how much others are making.

  5. Cathy 2021-03-19 13:54

    Grudz, it isn’t about someone earning their salary, it’s about going way outside the state employee salary schedules for specific positions. If it’s a private company, who cares? If it’s a state agency, it’s just not kosher.

  6. jake 2021-03-19 16:16

    Cathy, Grudz wouldn’t know the difference After sucking on the government/corporate tit all those years – the goodies are the same to him!

  7. grudznick 2021-03-19 17:33

    Well, Ms. Cathy, grudznick thinks you misrepresent Mr. H’s flawed interpretation of government salary schedules, but Mr jake has a good point.

    grudznick has indeed sucked a few government tits and a few corporate tits and even a few welfare tits over the long years. And while not every tit is the same they are all goodies, as Mr. jake points out in double barreled, bouncy fashion.

  8. Arlo Blundt 2021-03-19 21:57

    well…gudz, given the arbitrary, capricious, and unpredictable nature of “working for a living”, we should not regret or apologize for any money we’ve made.Compensation has little to do with “worthiness”. In general we all should, “Take what they’ll pay and understand that no good deed goes unpunished.”

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