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GOAC Appendix: Noem’s Daughter Got Special Treatment in Appraiser Certification Process

Approving the minutes of a meeting is usually no big deal. But the Government Operations and Audit Committee has included in the December minutes up for approval at today’s meeting an “Appendix” summarizing the facts GOAC says it learned from the evidence and testimony it took concerning Governor Kristi Noem’s intervention in her daughter Kassidy Peters‘s application for certification as a real estate appraiser. This appendix is a big deal, since it’s less a record of the GOAC hearings and more an official report on the committee’s conclusions of fact about the Governor’s behavior in this affair.

And this report comes to the same conclusion that was apparent to us observers last fall: Governor Noem’s daughter received special treatment in the appraise certification process:

Government Operations and Audit Committee, DRAFT Appendix: "Appraiser Certification Review—2021: What the Governor Operations and Audit Committee (GOAC) Has Learned," attached to 2021.12.14 minutes, for approval at GOAC meeting 2022.05.18.
Excerpt, annotated by DFP to show conclusions of special treatment for Governor Kristi Noem’s daughter; Government Operations and Audit Committee, DRAFT Appendix: “Appraiser Certification Review—2021: What the Governor Operations and Audit Committee (GOAC) Has Learned,” attached to 2021.12.14 GOAC minutes, for approval at GOAC meeting 2022.05.18.

The report also recounts the testimony of Sherry Bren, the experienced and respected founder and director of the real estate appraiser certification program whom the Governor forced to retire and whose character she assassinated after Bren testified to GOAC. The report does not include Labor Secretary Marcia Hultman’s October 28, 2021, incredible testimony that the unusual meeting to which the Governor summoned Bren to discuss her daughter’s application was not pressure; the report does note Hultman’s statement that “she was not aware of another time when someone in training for a position, such as Kassidy Peters, had been included in a meeting such as the one on July 27, 2020.” That choice of statements to include in this final report indicate that GOAC is acknowledging what was plain to most readers the moment AP’s Stephen Groves broke this story last October: a Governor calling a state employee to the office for a meeting in front of the employee’s immediate boss, several lawyers, and the aggrieved party, who happened to be the Governor’s pouty daughter, is damned irregular.

We have a word for an elected official’s special treatment of her daughter in state affairs: nepotism. GOAC doesn’t use that word in this draft appendix, but the appendix’s plain statements of fact tell us that nepotism happened. Those statements of fact could also support action by the Government Accountability Board, the panel of retired judges who are digging into Noem’s nepotism.

Approval of the minutes, including this appendix/report on the special treatment Noem’s daughter received in the appraiser certification process, is the first item the ten legislators on GOAC will take up when they convene at 9 a.m. today in Room 414 of the Capitol. If Noem isn’t busy jetting to another out-of-state fundraiser, perhaps she’ll come up from the Second Floor to attempt an appendectomy.

Update 08:42 CDT: Representative Jamie Smith (D-15/Sioux Falls), who is running to replace Noem and whose District 15 neighbors Representative Linda Duba and Senator Reynold Nesiba sit on GOAC, issues this stern condemnation of the nepotism demonstrated in GOAC’s appendix:

It is abundantly clear that Governor Noem broke her oath of office and abused her authority by using her power for her family’s personal gain. Corruption in national politics is nothing new. Despite Governor Noem’s national political aspirations, this kind of blatant corruption has no place in South Dakota.

This behavior might be commonplace in Washington, but it is unbecoming of a South Dakota Governor. South Dakotans expect integrity, fairness, and accountability in their elected officials, not nepotism and deceitfulness. The Governor of South Dakota is sworn to serve the interests of all of the people of this great state. It is not a platform for personal gain.

As Governor, I will hold myself and all state employees accountable to the highest ethical standards. I will never betray the people’s sacred trust for my own personal benefit or the benefit of my family [Jamie Smith, press release, 2022.05.17].

Broke her oath of office? Abused her authority? Unbecoming behavior? That sounds like impeachment talk….


  1. Loren 2022-05-18 07:55

    I’m pretty sure we didn’t need a government inquiry to understand what was readily apparent!

  2. Dicta 2022-05-18 09:16

    And nobody will care. The corruption is just so open and the people who allow it scream “Drain the Swamp” out of the other corner of their mouths.

  3. Disgusted Dakotan 2022-05-18 09:18

    Malfeasance worthy of impeachment. And yet, not one of these Democrats or Republicans will do their duty.

    The GOAC voted to hire an attorney to advise them what to do with this corruption (When they have a flock of staff attorneys) to stall for time and give the appearance of doing something.

  4. P. Aitch 2022-05-18 10:53

    Will “Nepotism Barbie” lose/forfeit her inappropriately gained appraisers license?
    An “honest” Governor would suggest that.

  5. mike from iowa 2022-05-18 11:01

    Kassidy gets special treatment which surprised no one ever.

  6. leslie 2022-05-18 14:04

    if Noem gets knocked for nepotism her knees will weaken toward humble pie

    it worked for doppelganger Palin

  7. 96Tears 2022-05-18 15:10

    Not that America’s Party Girl Kristi Noem killed someone in the act of violating her oath, displaying poor character, lying about her actions and abusing her authority in canning Sherry Bren for just doing her job and smearing Sherry’s integrity, but I think the grounds for impeaching Noem are clearer and easier to prove than those for Ravnsborg. America’s Party Girl needs to watch her backside.

    Ravnsborg’s best case, IMHO, is for attorney Mike Butler to start with the fact that a majority of House Republicans voted to NOT impeach Ravnsborg, and that it was the overt political pressure directed by power hungry Noem’s people that produced the one-vote margin that resulted in impeachment by the House.

    Just one vote. And Ravnsborg’s got NOTHING to lose.

    Butler should subpoena Ohio dark money consultant Jonathon Petrea, Angel Kane and the financial records of Grand Solutions, Inc., the Ohio phone bank hired by Noem’s people to publicly pressure the House Impeachment Committee members.

    Butler should subpoena the records of Dakota Institute for Legislative Solutions and its big shooters Rob Burgess, Rory McShane and Proud Boys pal Woodrow Johnston. This is who put up all those billboards to publicly pressure the House Impeachment Committee members.

    The Senate hearing is a political decision that has legal consequences. We would never have reached this point if it were not for the unprecedented political pressure and dirty tricks Noem and her clown car brought against the House committee members.

    Noem and her pals in Pierre wanted this. If they didn’t want their dirty laundry aired, they should have chosen a different route to getting Marty Jackley the state convention votes.

    This is America’s Party Girl Kristi Noem’s circus. She asked for it and got it by just … one … House … vote.

  8. Mark Anderson 2022-05-18 18:23

    Come on folks, she’s taking care of her daughter. What’s more American than that?

  9. HydroGuy 2022-05-18 22:53

    Kristi Noem: a snowplow parent to a snowflake daughter.

  10. DaveFN 2022-05-18 22:56

    Rep. Jamie Smith’s moralizing, idealistic comment in the name of campaigning, namely, “this kind of blatant corruption has no place in South Dakota” is contradicted by the facts. South Dakota has just as much a place for corruption as is found elsewhere.

    Furthermore, Noem’s Christianity is proof positive that the divine and the ethical are without connection, if not fundamentally antithetical to each other.

  11. DaveFN 2022-05-18 22:59

    Would that Rep. Jamie Smith would say “Corruption has found its place in South Dakota and I’m here to do something about it.”

    Being affable doesn’t begin to go far enough.

  12. Robbinsdale Radical 2022-05-19 00:04

    I think it outrageous that the Governor’s daughter would possibly think that being a big-ticket real estate appraiser in this state would not be seen as a massive conflict of interest – who would trust the number Kassidy would come up with on a large real estate transaction in this tiny state as not being a political gift or punishment? Especially if you can’t prove you know the rules on the test!

    This state does not seem to understand the concept of conflict of interest. Sure, be an appraiser of you want, but not in South Dakota!


  13. John 2022-05-19 08:29

    RE: Loren’s: “I’m pretty sure we didn’t need a government inquiry to understand what was readily apparent!”

    The cowardly legislature wanted political cover . . . to justify barely doing the right thing.
    Government inquiries, are too often like seeking outside permission to do what one is going to do- or should do, anyway.
    Results of government inquiries are like uninquisitive county commissioners hiring a “consultant” asking whether they need a new jail. Well, dah, guess what the consultant’s answer will be . . .? — creating political cover for the commissioners to build a new jail in the face of exploding construction costs, leading to tax increases.

    Here though, the public is served by a silly government inquiry into Noem’s nepotism because it keeps the story alive well into voting season. Noem was too full of hubris to kill the story through a mea culpa when the story emerged.

  14. mike from iowa 2022-05-19 09:07

    Noems lie? I don’t believe it!

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