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Senator Deibert Resigns from Lawrence County Commission

With controversy swirling about legislators’ conflicts of interest, Senator Randy Deibert (R-31/Spearfish) decided to get out while the getting was good. No, he’s not leaving the Legislature; instead, last month, he tendered his resignation from  the Lawrence County Commission.

Deibert doesn’t mention the conflict-of-interest question; he says he planned to resign all along but needed nearly a whole year to finish the county business he wanted to do:

Commissioner Randy Deibert resigned from the Lawrence County Commission Tuesday, effective immediately, in order to focus on his District 31 Senate responsibilities.

“Once I was elected to Senate, I always knew I would resign. I just wanted to resign at a time that was appropriate, and that is now because I’m no longer involved in all the appointed positions at the county and for the county, nationally and regionally,” Deibert, R-Spearfish, said. “I resigned because I was done with all the obligations” [Jaci Conrad Pearson, “Deibert Resigns from Lawrence Co. Commission to Focus on Legislative Duties,” Black Hills Pioneer, 2023.10.27].

On a 3–2 vote, the commission immediately picked planning and zoning chairman Rick Tysdal to serve the remaining year and couple months of Deibert’s term. According to the October 24 minutes, the commission rejected commissioner and former legislator Bob Ewing’s attempt to hand government power to Trumpist gasbag and former CIA operative Ron Moeller, who challenged Deibert in the 2022 District 31 Senate primary:

Commissioner Flanagan nominated Richard “Rick” Tysdal. Commissioner Sleep nominated Mike Whalen. Commissioner Ewing nominated Ron Moeller.

Moved-Seconded (Flanagan-Jennings) to cease nominations. Motion Carried.

Commissioner Sleep stated he felt Rick Tysdal would be better served as a City Councilman and felt there was already enough representation from the Spearfish area.

Commissioner Flanagan stated that Rick Tysdal is a lifelong resident of the area and raised his family here and has been on the Planning & Zoning board since 2004.

Commissioner Ewing stated that this puts him in a tough position as he knows each nominee personally.

Moved-Seconded (Flanagan-Ewing) to appoint Rick Tysdal to fill out the remainder of the term created by the resignation of Commissioner Deibert. Aye-Flanagan, McGruder and Ewing. Nay- Sleep and Jennings. Motion Carried [Lawrence County Commission, minutes, 2023.10.24, p. 7].

Deibert plans to continue volunteering for Lawrence County on the county’s natural resource committee.


  1. larry kurtz 2023-11-07 07:28

    I’ve known Rick Tysdal for forty years but today Spearditch has become one scary little town in an even scarier county.

  2. grudznick 2023-11-07 19:15

    Look, would you rather work for the County of Lawrence, from whence so many of grudznick’s close personal friend Larry’s minions rule the roost and you get a cold roast beef sandwich at your meetings, if you are lucky, or would you rather be in the state legislatures where unlimited wine, whiskey, and tenderloin steaks are provided to you free of charge and where you sleep in a fine king bed, paid for by the state, and are escorted about with bodyguards and treated like you were a school administrator when you are out and about the town?

    Mr. Deibert made the obvious choice. Cheers, Mr. Deibert.

  3. larry kurtz 2023-11-07 19:31

    It’s important to remember that without federal dollars Spearditch would be just another wide spot on US 85.

  4. larry kurtz 2023-11-07 19:37

    $20 says Neiman will close his mill in Spearditch in less than two years.

  5. grudznick 2023-11-07 19:59

    No bet, Lar. It’s happening next summer or fall, grudznick would wager.

  6. Arlo Blundt 2023-11-07 21:25

    Spearfish has plenty of Liberal folks who live, work and own businesses that have revived Main Street. They live side by side with the majority Trumpists and survive by ignoring them, and standing their ground. Without the Liberals, Spearfish would be a very sleepy place, as it was in the 70’s.

  7. John 2023-11-09 09:19

    The absence of meaningful county and city zoning will kill the Spearfish mill. The real estate developers and unbridled zoning over generations is turning the routes to, along, and around the mill into residential neighborhoods complete with kids on bikes, runners wearing earbuds and walking dogs. Spearfish, after a horrible accident involving a logging truck and a child, barred the trucks from the town proper. Since then, via nearly unbridled developments, the town is moving to the mill. Same effect. Greed will win.

  8. Erica Douglas 2023-11-12 17:44

    kudos to Richard Sleep for nominating Mike Whalen. Whalen is a smart guy, would finally have some representation for Nemo.

  9. Erica Douglas 2023-11-12 17:45

    kudos to Richard Sleep for nominating Mike Whalen. Whalen is a smart guy, would finally have some representation for Nemo.

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