Argus: Minnehaha Co State’s Attorney Aaron McGowan resigning this week

From the Argus Leader, it sounds as if Democrat Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Aaron McGowan is stepping down from office for medical reasons after disastrous reports questioning his fitness for office:

Embattled Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Aaron McGowan is set to resign this week amid questions about his leadership and fitness for the office, according to an updated Minnehaha County Commission agenda.

The updated agenda lists asks the commission to “consider motion to accept the resignation,” effective on Friday.

McGowan’s departure comes after yet another extended absence from the office. McGowan was gone for much of the summer. After returning in September, he notified his office that he was leaving again for knee replacement surgery. He then sent his office a note saying he couldn’t return to work because of complications from the surgery.

Read the entire story here.

This office represents one of the few offices Democrats had their hands on among South Dakota States Attorneys. We’ll see how hard the State Democrat Party attempts to retain the seat in the face of a tenure that seems to have ended poorly.

9 thoughts on “Argus: Minnehaha Co State’s Attorney Aaron McGowan resigning this week”

  1. Difficult to imagine his staff putting up with his Inappropriate actions toward them. Hope our commissioners pick someone with better leadership skills, not just one of his chief deputies who look to have covered for him. Hope he gets the help he needs to fight his demons.

    1. I don’t believe the Minnehaha County Commission has the authority to appoint a state’s attorney to serve until the next election. If anyone has that authority, I’d look to the AG first, then to the Governor.

        1. A judge can appoint temporarily, but generally left to the county commission…he did not give them much time to react

          Should be interesting to see who applies and who runs now that the seat is open–anyone heard anything?

      1. Mr. Wyland you may be correct as 7-16-2 states that the Circuit Court appoints vacancies of County States Attorneys.
        There could be more. I’ll keep looking. Interesting stuff.

        1. I looked at a 2017 Cap Journal story and saw that the County Commission does indeed appoint an interim state’s attorney in the event of the resignation of a serving state’s attorney. I saw the mention in the SDCL that a circuit court judge could appoint a substitute for a state’s attorney unable to prosecute a case, but that statute sounded like it applied to courtroom presence and practice for a specific case rather than holding office per se.

  2. Best wishes to Mr. McGowan & family this holiday season. We are all human & none of us perfect. I applaud your responsible decision. Take the time you need to recover. I pray you find forgiveness, healing, health, and happiness. FWIW, America loves a comeback.

    When a state’s attorney resigns for these reasons, who appoints his/her replacement? County? Governor? AG?

  3. 1. He made the right call here. Public confidence, and apparently the confidence of his staff as well, were not strong.
    2. I hope he gets well, whatever the underlying conditions impacting him are.

    I hope people’s obscene need for schadenfreude doesn’t overcome their desire to be a good person and we can let him and his family be.

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