FACT CHECK: Jackley Rhetoric Contradicts Evidence and South Dakota Statute
Jackley claims he had “zero involvement” but Office of Risk Management says he was “briefed” and “allowed to offer input”
In response to questions raised about Marty Jackley’s stalling of a victim’s court-ordered restitution to aid his campaign for governor, the Attorney General claimed he was “not party to this suit, had absolutely no authority over the settlement, and had zero involvement in the settlement terms or negotiation.” (emphasis added)
However, Craig Ambach, director of the state’s Office of Risk Management, told the Argus Leader: “I directed these negotiations, pursuant to SDCL 3-22-11. That statute also requires that the attorney general be consulted. Pursuant to that statute, the attorney general was occasionally briefed as to the negotiations and the settlement agreement, and was allowed to offer input.” (emphasis added)
Moreover, the settlement resulted from Jackley’s decision to deny Kaiser’s grievance. In a February 2012 letter from Marty Jackley to Kaiser’s lawyer, Marty Jackley writes: “I have had the opportunity to review and consider your correspondence… Based on my review of these materials and further investigation, I am denying your client’s grievance.” It was this decision that prompted the lawsuit in which a jury awarded Kaiser a $1.5 million taxpayer-funded settlement.
“The facts speak for themselves,” said Justin Brasell, Kristi for Governor Campaign Manager. “Marty Jackley’s poor judgement led to a lawsuit that cost the taxpayers more than $1.5 million. He knew it was wrong and tried to silence the victim for his own political gain. The cover up is as bad as the crime.”