State Watch

South Dakota lawmakers to examine Noem meeting with official as daughter sought license


A South Dakota state Senate committee will examine a 2020 meeting between Gov. Kristi Noem and the head of the state agency that moved to deny Noem’s daughter a real estate appraiser certification. 

The Associated Press reported that the state Senate’s Government Operations and Audit Committee will address the issue when it meets at the end of October. It’s not yet clear how far the examination will go, but its scope will ultimately be determined by Republican state lawmakers who control both chambers of the legislature.

On Tuesday, South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, a Republican, said that he will review the July 2020 meeting between Noem and Sherry Bren, the now-former executive director of the South Dakota Appraiser Certification Program. Noem’s daughter Kassidy Peters also attended that meeting. 

The details of the meeting are still unclear, but it took place shortly after the agency overseeing real estate appraiser certifications moved to deny Peters her certification. 

The state Department of Labor and Regulation says Peters’s application was never denied, and she was ultimately granted her certification in November 2020, four months after the meeting took place.

After Peters received her real estate appraiser certification, South Dakota Labor Secretary Marcia Hultman allegedly pressured Bren to retire, according to a since-withdrawn age-discrimination complaint filed by Bren. 

Ian Fury, a spokesperson for Noem, did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment on the Government Operations and Audit Committee’s plans to look into the meeting. After the AP reported on the meeting earlier this week, however, Fury cast it as a petty attack on the governor’s daughter.

“The Associated Press is disparaging the Governor’s daughter in order to attack the Governor politically – no wonder Americans’ trust in the media is at an all-time low,” Fury said in a statement. 

Noem also pushed back on the AP story about the July 2020 meeting, accusing the news outlet of “trying to destroy” her children.

“Listen I get it. I signed up for this job. But now the media is trying to destroy my children,” Noem tweeted. “This story is just another example of the double standard that exists with the media… going after conservatives and their kids while ignoring Liberals.”

Tags Kristi Noem South Dakota legislature South Dakota politics

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