Argus Leader: Secret police call and AG investigation surrounding Minnehaha County States Atty’s “medical leave” from office.

Nice piece of detective work by the Argus Leader in sussing out some of the mysterious circumstances surrounding Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Aaron McGowan’s weeks long and continuing absence from his duties.

A story complete with a secret police call to McGowan’s home, people fearful of retaliation, and an investigation by the Attorney General’s office is just the start of this tale which is sure to just get bigger in the coming weeks:

Sioux Falls police were called to the home of Minnehaha County’s top prosecutor in an incident that preceded his weeks-long absence from office, but no records of the call were made public.

State’s Attorney Aaron McGowan has been out of office since mid-July, officially citing “medical reasons” for his absence. But an Argus Leader investigation determined that McGowan disappeared from the public eye after several police officers responded to his south Sioux Falls home on July 13.

The incident raises questions about whether the police department treated the encounter differently because it involved a public official.

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg told the Argus Leader this week his office is aware of the situation and is looking into how the Sioux Falls Police Department handled the incident. His office has the authority to investigate official misconduct.

“I would say for sure my office will not tolerate any kind of cover-up at any level,” Ravnsborg said.

Read the entire story here (subscription required at moment).

22 thoughts on “Argus Leader: Secret police call and AG investigation surrounding Minnehaha County States Atty’s “medical leave” from office.”

  1. When a state’s attorney is unfit for duty, does the AG appoint a qualified person to perform the job until the next election?

    I can’t speak to McGowan’s psychological fitness, your guess is as good as mine, but I know SD citizens need someone capable in the office & doing the job.

    1. 3-17-12. Suspension of state’s attorney or sheriff pending prosecution. If any state’s attorney or sheriff is arrested for or charged with any offense against the laws of this state or the United States of America, and the Governor is informed that criminal proceedings are pending before any court or officer, the Governor shall in the case of a felony and may in the case of a misdemeanor suspend that state’s attorney or sheriff from office until such charge is prosecuted. The effect of such a suspension is to relieve the affected state’s attorney or sheriff from all responsibilities provided by law which are pertinent to that position.

      3-17-14. Appointment of acting state’s attorney or sheriff. The Governor shall, in the case of a state’s attorney, appoint the attorney general or one of his assistants or some competent attorney of the state selected by the attorney general, and the Governor shall, in the case of a sheriff suspended pursuant to §§ 3-17-12 to 3-17-19, inclusive, appoint a suitable person to discharge the duties of such office during any suspension imposed in accordance with the provisions of §§ 3-17-12 to 3-17-19, inclusive.

  2. A fair post would have included the PD’s response along with AG quote from the article. C’mon Pat, there is clearly more to this story..

    1. I’d prefer the Governor/Attorney General appoint a competent states attorney next week. We can’t afford 15 ragged months without someone good at the helm.

      Next fall, if Mr. McGowan has fully recovered possession of his senses (or whatever you to call it), he’d be free to seek re-election by the voters.

  3. Nice attempt at a hit job by the Argus. Anonymous sources… Really? Cheap and pathetic. After reading the chief’s quote on this, I wouldn’t touch this with a 10 ft. pole.

    1. The man is an elected official and his work ethic should speak for him. It doesn’t. He needs to be elected out of office and hopefully his work
      department will get a good scrub also. Argus leader is not like the MSM, they do their jobs!

  4. So perhaps this fellow, who does not bear a direct physical resemblance to Mr. Flintstone in grudznick’s opinion, did something silly and stupid. Perhaps he accidentally shot himself in the scrotum. That’s embarrassing. And the public does not need to know. But it might require being out of the office a bit. He can coordinate on the phone and get done what he needs. Wilma would also appreciate us all leaving them alone.

  5. So if this is about a call at a public official’s house, why is the Argus trying to throw the SFPD under the bus? Looks like they’re just trying to burn it all down. That’s pretty responsible. Sioux Falls deserves a better “paper of record”.

  6. There’s a cover up here.
    Public officials hiding their misdeeds.
    Good story but tip of iceberg.
    This office is full of liberals by the way.

    1. How do you know there were “misdeeds” at all? Isn’t that assuming a lot?
      I think some people are unaware of how often police are called to a residence for a mental health crisis. When I read this, and saw there’s no record of an arrest, a psychiatric meltdown was the first thing that came to my mind, not criminal activity.

  7. Word is now that Gatehouse has taken over the Argus parent company Gannett, they are looking for ways to really consolidate and cut costs. This creates a desperate environment where “reporters” are really trying to make a name for themselves and gain cred with the new management to “make the roster”. Sadly then we should expect to see more of this thinly-sourced, speculative tabloidism from this crew.

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