State Senator Stace Nelson named as informant in Wollmann matter

There was an interesting detail in the Wollmann matter that’s being taken up in the State House right now that’s escaped attention, but had a mention in at least one of the news articles. 

What was the detail? That State Senator Stace Nelson has direct involvement in the accusations:

Wollmann said he decided to come forward after he was approached Tuesday by a television station and asked about the situation. Qualm said Wollmann discussed the issue with him and in the House Republican caucus.

Qualm said he was first informed and started looking into the process of what lawmakers should do after an email in recent days from Republican Sen. Stace Nelson.

Read that all here.

Why is this an important footnote? Because Nelson’s actions would seem to be for a reason:

negative_stace_1 negative_stace_2

This is a postcard that Wollmann sent out against Nelson, after the actions of Nelson and his supporters in what was arguably one of the dirtiest campaigns in recent history, where Wollmann chided the opposition for dirty attacks on a young person who returned to his hometown to run for office.

With Nelson noted by Qualm as the accuser that had him looking into it, it certainly flavors a reason for the accusations.

28 Replies to “State Senator Stace Nelson named as informant in Wollmann matter”

  1. Anonymous

    I think people are struggling to grasp this situation in Pierre. Many are appalled by Wollmann’s actions and many others are saying he was 23 or 24 and the interns were essentially his age. They usually qualify it by saying he should have behaved better.

    I would not suggest turning this into a Nelson vendetta and Wollmann the victim. Most think Wollmann could have behaved better. I wouldn’t suggest playing the victim in this situation. Just own up to it and move on.

  2. Lee Schoenbeck

    Here’s an interesting question that needs to be put to senator Stace Nelson. When he served in the House, one of his friends, a House member, was aggressively chasing an intern, and there had to be about a 15 year age difference! It would be a much clearer case to complain about, if the conduct was of concern to Senator Nelson. Maybe he could explain why he didn’t raise it then, or since they now both serve in the same body, file a complaint with the senate.
    This looks like it’s about Senator Nelson trying to smear a young man that he views as a political opponent.
    PS A rule prohibiting legislators from having romantic with relationships with interns wouldn’t be a bad thing. It would stop that example of a 45+ year old legislator chasing a college girl, but there are two things to ponder. First, These days there are many young legislators who are in the peer group with interns – politically interested people in their 20s.
    Second, given that you’re not going to install body cameras, is there actually going to be a rule drawing a line, that describes the good bad touch thing? I saw a legislator harmlessly with an intern in public Thursday at an event – is that type of social interaction (kind of like a low level date) going to be prohibited? Interaction with legislators was a great part of my intern experience, and most interns would echo that. It’s one of those deals where good judgment and wise counsel from leadership is probably the best fix. I recall Sen Bogue and I caboshing a senator wanting to have the page pizza party at the Ramkota pool with swimming by the whole group!

    1. Anonymous

      If you know about it. You should report it. Someone should anyway. Good grief does everyone look the other way?

  3. Troy Jones

    Lee bring up a good point. When I was an intern, it was some of the best learning experience when my bosses invited me to attend with them the social events. Plus, being a poor college student, the free meal was appreciated. If my boss had been a female, would it now become a cause for an investigation? Have we created a situation if you have a boss of another gender they don’t get the same opportunities?

    And, I think about the fact Mary McClure and my mother were sorority sisters and a couple of weekends every year in my childhood our families visited each other on weekends. When we served together, I have no idea if anyone knew or asked why we were personally close. She took me to dinner a couple of times (sympathy for the poor college student) and gave me a lot of hugs. One weekend she even gave me a ride to Gettysburg for me to visit my Grandmother and picked me up early Monday morning but I did get out of her car with my suitcase and bring it into the Capital. Maybe that should have been investigated? And, since we are investigating stuff from prior sessions, maybe that weekend needs to be investigated even though I might be the only witness still alive.

      1. Fled to Red

        Reading 101. Troy states “When I was an intern. I think that what he means by that ain’t that he was an intern, not a member of the legislature. Just guessing though.

  4. Anonymous

    Rep. Wollman is a good legislator with bright future still ahead of him. He made a mistake and he and others in our legislature will learn that professional boundaries need to be maintained just like any workplace. This particular instance is minor and is being blow way out of proportion. They legislature has way more important things to do. Rep. Wollman’s punishment should be minimal and symbolic as being a reminder of professional conduct.

  5. Troy Jones

    OOPS. I didn’t write that very clearly. I served two years as an intern so we didn’t serve as equals. I’ve never been in the legislature. I’m sorry for the confusion.

  6. Anonymous

    Hmmmm! Deleting posts Mr Powers?

    [No, just moderated when they come out of the Legislative Research Council. If legislators want to bicker back and forth, they can post openly and under their own name. -PP]

  7. Rod Goeman

    Wow! Stacey Nelson should resign…Immediately! Circulating vicious rumors about a fellow legislator that are unfounded just because he supported a friend is horrific conduct. When elections are over, we go back to work. Sen. Stacey Nelson would rather waste the Legislature’s time and taxpayer resources spreading rumors and trying to settle a personal score. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones!

    1. Anonymous

      Stace Nelson is grandstanding as usual and then Nelson’s cheerleaders South Dakota’s Stoner Blog is trying to some how claim Rep. Wollman is a sexual predator. Good Grief!

    1. Tara Volesky

      What about the 40 years of one party rule?,,,,,so Mike are you saying the establishment doesn’t need some disinfectant?

  8. Anon1

    Another question is, who are these people they keep voting for this idiot? Stacey has proven to be one of the least effective legislators ever to walk into the building. On top of that, he is so disruptive that he causes the whole process to slow down. Why can’t the voters in his district see him for what he is, a huge waste of space?

    1. grudznick

      Mr. Nelson is from the most ignorant district in the state, and it is filled with rubes who are insaner than most.

  9. Anne Beal

    never forget that Stace lied about his involvement in a criminal conspiracy and allowed Dan Willard to take the fall.

    What a guy.

  10. Anonymous

    Rep Wollman admitted to consensual sex with interns (read employees). The fact that the women involved were employees, regardless of the Representative’s age or the nature of the interaction, is conduct we should not tolerate in our elected officials. Frankly, every day that passes without a resignation by the Representative is a day that he selfishly damages the reputation of the rest of the State Legislature. Representative Wollman, do the honorable thing. Resign.

    1. Wow

      I certainly agree with this. Like or dislike him, nothing that Stace said or did caused this entire mess in the first place. You can speculate all you want. You have been given part of the story perhaps. Wollman is NOT the victim. He does need to resign.

  11. Charlie Hoffman

    I’m not much into ratting on friends or having same done to me. For the record I know some really bad stuff about people who pray I never speak of it publicly and I wont as it gains me nothing. By trying to discredit another’s moral fiber with past allegations of improper (I am not getting into immorality here as that is obviously judgmental in this case) activity the accuser must be self absorbed in his or her perfection. Sadly though the accusations once admitted to by the accused only confirm the accusation. Unfortunate and forever remembered. The question of what the House Ethics board does is immaterial as the memory of everyone involved going forward will repeatedly and consistently bring the accused and accusation front and center as long as he is in the Legislature. I so wish this were not so hurtfully true but it’s just how the human mind works.

  12. Not a Fan

    Thanks to ever-increasing dominance by 1 party, the culture is never going to change, and the only time the electorate managed to get an attempt at reform passed, faulty as it was, the Republican Establishment took after it with pitchforks and bulldozers.

    Mr. Wollman is and was old enough to know better. This behavior of a mid-level manager corporate manager with an office intern would not be tolerated, either. Why should a member of the Legislature be able to get away with it?

  13. Springer

    In talking with a person who was an intern about 20 years ago, the legislative session in Pierre has been considerably tamed down due to the advent of Facebook and smart phones. I do not condone what Wollmann did. But I wonder if any of those so ready to cast stones were part of the wild life in Pierre back when, but at that time no one knew. I particularly was told of yearly Buffet parties at certain hotel suites, shots lined up on tables in hallways to be downed before admission, and these included legislators and interns. Maybe we don’t need more ethics commissions, just more smart phones!

  14. Aaron Pilcher

    I have been generally disappointed by Mr. Nelson’s character and unimpressed by his decision making ability. Separately, I think Mr. Wollman made a mistake, and I’ll let the legislative disciplinary process work before saying more. This article is exactly right, because even if Mr. Nelson did the right thing in the right way, there’s little doubt he did it for the wrong reasons.

  15. Jalmer

    I just think Wollman’s “transgressions” are minimal and meaningless. I’ve been a supporter of Stace. I know him, though not well. I think a LOT less of him now. I don’t live in his district, but I will vote against him should he ever run for anything statewide again. (I voted for him for US Senate) I’ll say this to his face next time I see him because I don’t find him particularly intimidating either.

  16. Springer

    I agree with both Aaron and Jalmer above. Let the legislative process work this out, but get on to the real work that SD’ans sent you to Pierre for.

    I still say that it is more of a problem that a person who has been removed from a high level job because of incompetence is allowed to stay on the state govt payroll, receiving his/her entire salary, while the state promises to find him/her another job. This does NOT do a whole lot for morale, or a whole lot for my faith in state govt.