Sen. Nelson Letter to GOAC Chair Deb Peters. A week to gather his thoughts.

In the never ending soap opera that represents Senator Stace Nelson’s tenure on the Government Operations and Audit (GOAC) Committee, a letter came out yesterday where Senator Nelson noted to the chair that the events of the prior meeting “did not register until after the hearing was adjourned.”

Of course, it took a full week for Nelson to gather his thoughts.

And as of yesterday, he’s now written a letter to the chair opposing the committee questioning the credibility of his star witness, a person whose story changed.

Go Ac Sep Letter Wer Del by Pat Powers on Scribd

25 Replies to “Sen. Nelson Letter to GOAC Chair Deb Peters. A week to gather his thoughts.”

  1. Growing Old

    This letter was written as a veiled attempt to “protect” a less than credible witness. If no one is permitted to question beyond “NCIS – investigator” then her testimony cant be refuted. I think what you’re seeing is an effort by the senator to cover his own butt because he knows he has nothing real. The Senator does not have the leadership chops to pull this off, because he cannot be trusted. He is willing to fabricate anything to attempt to be right. “I am the expert, I have interviewed said witness, what could you pee-ons possibly garner that I have not already told you?”

    Reply
      1. Anne Beal

        Interesting. So MCEC was a criminal enterprise receiving grant money through both the federal DOE and the state DOE, and it was made up of school board members from 14 districts. Are you suggesting that all the school board members were in on it?

        Reply
          1. Anne Beal

            Yup. The board members were responsible for oversight. Especially for grants distributed directly to them from the federal DOE. They were all in on it. All of them are crooks. Lock ’em up!

            Reply
        1. Steve Sibson

          “Are you suggesting that all the school board members were in on it?”

          The report makes it clear that the answer to your question is no. They were told not to be concerned as it was “money in money out”. Wrong doing included not haven’t agreements brought to the Governing Board so that they could approve them.

          Now Anne, please read the report so that you are adequately informed.

          Reply
        1. Steve Sibson

          There were many violations of state and federal law that included not providing the governing board of MCEC with various agreements so that they understood and approved what was going on. This spin by the SDGOP to put the blame solely on the Governing Board (the school districts, who had little interest Gear Up) is way off base. The SDDOE was also exposed for not following federal rules regarding grants that flowed through their authority.

          The most interesting point is the biggest problem was the two direct grants, which had no oversight. One of those, The Teacher Quality grant included the University of South Dakota as partner, including time during which Rick Melmer was Dean of Education there.

          The Audit report should inspire any reader to dig deeper into this. And second, I wonder how many more direct federal grants have similar problems of lack of oversight and conflict of interests in South Dakota.

          Reply
          1. Anne Beal

            It’s not just South Dakota. It’s even worse in other states. And it’s not just federal grants: there’s plenty of fraud in Medicare and Medicaid. (I met a man who was still doing his daily physical therapy for three days after he died. ) Any time taxpayers’ funds are being distributed there are crooks lining up to steal it.
            People who are really good at embezzling don’t get caught when they steal the money, they get caught when they spend it. There were people living near the Westerhuis estate who should have noticed what was on that property and wondered how he was paying for it.

            Reply
  2. MC

    This letter is Senator Nelson holding true to his word. He made certain promises to LuAnn Wendel, and this letter is the Senator keeping his word.

    Reply
      1. MC

        I would have done the same.
        If there was a recording of me accusing various people of wrong doing and it was to be played before the GOAC and the AG, I want as many people as possible to know my face, and what I’m about to say.

        This way if I were to suddenly disappear, there would be questions raised, or so I hope.

        Reply
  3. Tara Volesky

    Sibson is a brilliant man, that’s why he is blocked on the other blog. They can’t handle the truth. He just melts those snowflakes.

    Reply
  4. Anne Beal

    One of the things you will hear if you listen to the recorded phone calls is that towards the end of the second one, Werdel starts to retract her story. Again.
    While she starts out saying she warned everybody,they all knew what was going on, by the end of the 2nd call she starts to falter. She says she really didn’t know anything, “I actually knew so little…just the tip of the iceberg,” and ” in hindsight” maybe Dr Schopp never thought anything was going on either.
    She might well be telling the truth, but she collapses under questioning. Her testimony won’t hold up. She second-guesses herself too much.
    The calls are really quite interesting, twice she refers to “this is off of the record” (1st call at 5:13 and 2nd call at 0:54) and she didn’t want people to “know you got it from me” (1st call at 26:10 and 2nd call at 2:25) she’s willing to talk as long as she is anonymous.
    I can see how people would believe her story, but I can also see that if she is formally questioned her testimony will disintegrate. I imagine Senator Nelson has figured this out.

    Reply
    1. Steve Sibson

      Anne, this 2014 audit finding gives credibility to Werdel’s 2011 warnings:

      “Since key employees of MEC were also in compensated officer positions of AIII, a significant subrecipient of GEAR UP pass-through funds, there were significant risks that needed to be addressed by specific subrecipient monitoring procedures at the DOE and MEC. Procedures implemented by the DOE did not address these risks and as a result, the DOE exposed itself to potential violation of federal regulations, and an increased risk of fraud, waste, and abuse of grant funds.”

      http://legislativeaudit.sd.gov/reports/School/MidCentralCoopSpecialReview.pdf

      Reply
  5. Anne Beal

    Steve, there are three things going on here: (1.)A criminal case being prosecuted by the AG, (2.)A civil suit filed by the DOE against the school districts to recover improper payments and (3.) Senator Nelson grandstanding, imagining himself a prosecutor, wanting to try both cases in front of GOAC, fueling nonsensical theories about the Westerhuis family’s deaths, and accusing everybody else of criminal conspiracy.
    The first two things have merit. The third is total buffoonery.

    Reply
    1. Steve Sibson

      Anne, there is a 4th thing going on here. SDGOP activists are trying to change the focus from the problem at hand to attacks on Senator Nelson and the school districts who were withheld any involvement with Gear Up. The school districts are the victims here, and it is very sad that the SDGOP wants to rub salt in their wounds in order to protect their Establishment members. You are obviously not interested in reading audit findings or any other facts. Your interest is on personal attacks in order to protect Republicans. As a Republican, I do not appreciate the lack of accountability.

      Reply
      1. Dave R

        Steve, I am fair certain that the SDGOP is busy with straw polls, raising money, party organization, and planning events. I realize its easy to lump everyone who disagrees on an issue into a conveniently labeled group, but it really isn’t accurate or helps to clarify things.

        Reply

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