Attorney General’s Response to Legislative Minority Leaders’ Statement on Gear-Up Program

jackley-logo Marty JackleyAttorney General’s Response to Legislative Minority Leaders’ Statement on Gear-Up Program

PIERRE, S.D. – The Attorney General’s Office offers this response to the State Senate and House Minority Leaders request for a statement from the Attorney General on the State Gear-up Program.

“The Attorney General has assembled a team of State, Federal and Local investigators to review potential criminal law concerns associated with the Gear-Up Program. While I have placed priority on the investigation, I intend to give investigators time to conduct a thorough investigation without making disclosures that could either compromise the investigation or violate state law. As the Attorney General has demonstrated from the recent recovery of the State flag to previously authorizing the grand jury indictment on the EB-5 matter, it will address any state criminal law violations arising from the Gear-up Program, however, I respect that other governmental bodies have the authority and decision making over spending in legislative programs,” said Jackley.

During the 2007 legislative session, the State Legislature approved significant increases in the State budget for the Gear-Up Program and with the support of both Minority Leaders authorized continued appropriations for the Gear-Up Program (2011- HB1251, Sutton yea, Joint Appropriations Committee; 2012 -HB197, Sutton yea, Joint Appropriations Committee; 2013-HB1185, Hawley yea, Sutton yea; 2014-HB187, Sutton yea; 2015-HB1208, Hawley yea, Sutton yea).

As part of the legislative oversight, the Office of Legislative Audit conducted an Audit for fiscal year ending June 30th, 2014. At no time during the process did any individual or entity bring concerns of potential state criminal law violations to the Attorney General. Then on September 17th, 2015, the Attorney General was advised of a tragic fire in Platte and responded within the hour. The Attorney General has completed and released its investigation findings into the tragic deaths, with the assistance of other State and Local law enforcement officials. The Attorney General along with other State, Federal and Local investigators will review the financial concerns associated with the Gear-Up and other related programs.


Former Dem Lt Gov candidate Ben Arndt noted in story of sick employee firing.

In case you missed it, a former Democratic candidate for Lt. Gov was noted in the Argus today in the case of a sick employee being fired from his company for….  well, being sick, and the lack of protections thereof:

Bell, Inc. CEO Ben Arndt would only confirm that Tom McLaughlin had been a night supervisor for the Sioux Falls-based company.

“We respect our employee’s privacy, and our policy is to not discuss employee’s personal matters with anyone other than the employee,” Arndt wrote in an email. “We would encourage anyone who can meet the requirements of an open position to apply or to re-apply.”

Read it here.

Arndt was the 2010 Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota, running on a ticket with Scott Heidepriem.

The ticket ran into problems when they ignored that part of the law which says the running mate has to be of the same party, and they were left scrambling to get the county auditor to change his registration to Democrat prior to nomination.