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Noem’s DSS Pick Threatened to Fire Sexual Harassment Victim If She Didn’t Shut Up About Priest’s Abuse

Scott Ehrisman reminds us of a 2017 investigation by Angela Kennecke into how the Sioux Falls Catholic diocese handled sexual harassment in its ranks in which Kennecke published a recording of Matt Althoff, then diocese chancellor, acknowledged a female employee’s allegation that a priest she worked for had sexually harassed her for two years but then told her to shut up about the crime or be fired:

After the priest council got her letter, Matt Althoff and Diocese Attorney Dan Fritz called for a meeting with Cindy, which she also secretly recorded on her phone.

“You are the victim of sexual harassment,” Althoff said in the recording.  “And you are the victim of somebody that crossed professional boundaries.”

“And Matt said to me if I sent another report, I lose my job,” Cindy said.

“Let me tell you… I don’t like to be threatening. But because it’s an employee situation. I think now that we have this established arrangement or understanding, you need to understand (Cindy) that that complicates the church’s ability to employ you if you disobey that. If you continue to send things out,” Althoff said in the recording.

“I have done nothing wrong to not be working there. And I love my job and I need my job,” Cindy said [Angela Kennecke, “How the Diocese Handled Sexual Harassment Allegations,” KELO-TV, 2017.06.27].

Ehrisman reminds us of this case because Governor Kristi Noem has just appointed Althoff to run the Department of Social Services. Althoff ascends to this post at a time when the Department of Social Services is allowing child rapist and incestophile Joel Koskan to retain custody of four kids at home and as the state is working to keep Koskan from serving any jail time or registering as a sex offender.


  1. larry kurtz 2023-01-04 06:38

    What a shocker. Paul Swain was a lawyer before he was called to the priesthood by the voices in his head and now he’s dead. Swain was appointed to the Sioux Falls, South Dakota diocese in 2006 by Joseph Ratzinger, another now-dead gay icon who also covered up clergy crimes.

  2. larry kurtz 2023-01-04 16:55

    Paul Swain was a member of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the architect of South Dakota’s statute of limitations that protects predators from being prosecuted for crimes against children and vulnerable adults in a state where catholic congregations and the legislature have engaged in obstruction of justice since before Ted Hustead opened Wall Drug in 1931. In South Dakota at least thirty two members of the Church of the Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers have been credibly accused.

    God knows who the rest are and so did Paul Swain but separation of church and state is just so bothersome in the chemical toilet especially when litigation hurts donations.

    Kinda makes you wanna puke, init?

  3. Mark Anderson 2023-01-04 19:31

    Gosh a Catholic lying about sexual abuse. They used to just kill the sister. Just watch The Keepers. about the killing of Catherine Cesnik. Cops in it too, support the blue.

  4. JO 2023-01-05 13:30

    This is so sickening demonstrating the racist views of the catholic church. While attending a Catholic high school in Sioux Falls in the early 70’s I knew of at least 3 priests who sexually abused male students. The trauma that Native Americans were forced to receive does not compare to the mild slap on the wrist some priests received. Just transfer to another church or diocese and let the abuse continue. With the blessing of some Pope.

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