To South Dakota’s GOP governor, blood is thicker than ethics

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (photo, left), who wants to be president, is embroiled in a corruption scandal.

“Just days after a South Dakota agency moved to deny her daughter’s application to become a certified real estate appraiser, Gov. Kristi Noem summoned to her office the state employee who ran the agency, the woman’s direct supervisor and the state labor secretary. Noem’s daughter attended too,” the Associated Press reported on Monday, September 27, 2021 (story here).

Questionable real estate appraisals lay at the heart of the subprime mortgage scandal, and resulting housing crash, financial crisis, and economic depression of 2007-2008. Licensing these professionals isn’t an inconsequential matter. It’s important to keep unqualified, or ethically untrustworthy, people out of the business.

And what could be more ethically questionable than pulling family strings to force the state licensing agency to issue a license to someone it has found to be unqualified?

“Kassidy Peters … obtained the certification … after the meeting at her mother’s office,” the Associated Press said. And a week later, the licensing agency head was forced out. The state settled with her for $200,000.

This is full-bore wrongdoing. The governor’s office responded to media inquiries by attacking the media. And Gov. Noem isn’t South Dakota’s top official in hot water. So is attorney general Jason Ravnsborg (details here and here).

Noem and Ravnsborg are both Republicans.

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0 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Mark Adams #

    When it is the governors kid and you deny a license you better able to convince the gov you got the call right, and not withholding license because mom or dad are the governor.

    When you are 70 in a state position it may be suggested it maybe time to go.

  2. Roger Rabbit #

    Governors and other public officials are supposed to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest. And arguing that “age 70 is time to go” won’t save you in a corruption case.