Hughes County States Attorney Jessica LaMie has decided she can’t prosecute Governor Kristi Noem for alleged misuse of the state plane for personal or political purposes:
La Mie and the DCI concluded that there were no facts to support a criminal prosecution under current law for the use of the airplane and that the allegation regarding flight records was frivolous [Office of the State’s Attorney, press release, posted in Jacob Newton, “No Prosecution Coming in Noem Plane Probe,” KELO-TV, 2022.10.25].
So voters can pass a law preventing the use of the state plane for anything other than “state business”, but the Governor can fly her son and his teenage friends out to the Black Hills on the state plane for her daughter’s wedding, and that’s “state business“?
LaMie’s conclusion that the Governor can’t be prosecuted for misusing the state plane is shocking. Making matters worse, LaMie’s conclusion that the complaint was frivolous opens the door for Noem to sic her high-priced lawyers on the complainant, Senator Reynold Nesiba (D-15/Sioux Falls) and maybe on killer former Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg for forwarding that complaint to the Government Accountability Board. SDCL 3-24-6 allows the subject of a complaint to commence a civil action and take money out of the hide of the complainant.
So hey, everybody: quit looking at Noem’s travel records and trying to pin her down for abusing her office. The Hughes County States Attorney says giving kids joyrides in the state plane is not frivolous; the frivolity is all on the folks who dare complain about such queenly indulgence.