Holy cow—the Government Accountability Board released 23 documents this morning relating to the ethics complaints against Governor Kristi Noem. The documents evidently show that Governor Noem tried to shut down the ethics panel’s investigation of her nepotism. Thank you, Judges Gienapp, Kean, and Wilbur for filling my weekend reading list; I’ll have analysis of those documents later.
The GAB must also have finally released its official notice to Attorney General Mark Vargo that it is punting the complaint about Governor Noem’s alleged misuse of the state plane back to the Attorney General’s office. Attorney General Vargo has finally affirmed the wisdom of Representative and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jamie Smith and handed that investigation to a special prosecutor:
The investigation and any decision regarding charges will be overseen by Hughes County States Attorney Jessica LaMie.
…Noem appointed Attorney General Mark Vargo to his post in June, so to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, Vargo requested LaMie take the lead in overseeing DCI’s investigation.
Because the investigation is on-going, the AG’s office will not release any reports or evidence concerning the complaint until the investigation is complete [Jody Heemstra, “Hughes County State’s Attorney to Oversee Investigation into Gov. Noem,” DRG News, 2022.09.09].
Hughes County promoted LaMie from deputy state’s attorney to full S.A. two years ago. LaMie went to USD for undergrad but got her law degree from Hamline in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is running uncontested as a Republican on this November’s ballot for a full term as state’s attorney.