Governor’s office says flying to daughter’s wedding is part of official business

renew: The following message was received by KELOLAND News on Friday, September 9 at 4:43 pm. January 19, 2022.

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — Details on flights on May 30, 2019 are available upon request, and the South Dakota Department of Transportation has provided the following information about who was on the flight for each leg of the journey.

All segments of the themed flight take place on May 30, 2019. The flight segments and passengers on board are as follows:

Paragraph 1 – Pierre to Custer – no passengers on board;
Paragraph 2 – Custer to Vermilion – Governor. Mentioned, Beth Horace and Ryan Tennyson;
Paragraph 3 – Vermillion to Aberdeen – Gov. Name, Beth Horace, Ryan Tennyson, Booker Name,
Nash Grantham, Hunter Arnold and Jack Ferguson
Paragraph 4 – Aberdeen to Custer – Governor.Name, Beth Horace, Ryan Tennyson, Booker Name, Nash
Grantham, Hunter Arnold and Jack Ferguson;
Leg 5 – Custer to Pierre – No passengers on board.

The DOT also justified the flight, echoing Fury’s phrasing from 2021, saying “if the governor cannot use the state plane that day, hundreds of would-be teen community leaders will be deprived of the opportunity to hear from their governor and tell them to. She asked.”

The wedding in question happened three days after Norm was sent back to Custer. Along the way, she picked up her son, two nephews and a family friend.

Crowland News confirmed more details about Governor Kristi Noem’s summer 2019 flight, including a state-owned plane that was used in part for the wedding of one of the governor’s daughters.

In particular, in response to questions about the flight, KELOLAND News received a response from then-Noem Communications Director Ian Fury to RawStory in 2021.

May 30, 2019 [Noem] Started her day at Custer, where she was helping her daughter Cassidy get ready for her wedding. She flew from Custer to Vermilion to the Girls State Conference, where she spoke. She then flew to Aberdeen for the Boys State Conference, where she spoke. She was then sent to Custer, where her day began.

Ian Fury’s 2021 Statement

In addition to forwarding the statement, the governor’s office added: “If the governor cannot use the state aircraft that day, hundreds of future teenage community leaders will be denied the opportunity to hear the governor and ask her questions.”

Speaking to RawStory in 2021, Fury further clarified the governor’s office’s stance, saying: “Pick up her on an official trip is part of an official trip, and so is dropping her off,” Fury said. “In the specific case of Custer, Governor Nome initially brought himself into Custer at his own expense.”

South Dakota’s laws on the use of state vehicles, including airplanes, are short, but not in danger of being called “over-defined.”

5-25-1.1. State-owned or leased vehicles and aircraft used only by state-owned enterprises – Vehicle Exception – Violations as Misdemeanors – Civil Actions and Penalties.

State owned or leased vehicles may only be used to conduct state business. No State official or employee other than the Governor, law enforcement officers of the South Dakota Highway Patrol, law enforcement officers of the Criminal Investigation Division, and protective officers shall use or permit the use of it except in the conduct of state business. Nothing in this section prohibits the use of any State vehicle if, for the most efficient use of State equipment or personnel, supervisors issue written instructions to any State employee to use State vehicles for transportation:

(1) Between the employee’s habitual residence and the place of work; or

(2) Between the employee’s temporary residence or place of dining and the place of work, if assigned to a place other than the employee’s permanent residence.

For the purposes of this article, any aircraft owned or leased by the State may only be used for the conduct of State business. None of the above exceptions shall apply to the use of any aircraft owned or leased by the State or any of its agencies.

Violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Violators will also be subject to a civil lawsuit in circuit court by South Dakota seeking to recover a civil penalty not exceeding $1,000 plus 10 times the state’s costs for misusing any aircraft it owns or leases. nation. Actions to recover civil fines or compensatory damages shall be tried by jury upon request.

South Dakota Statutes

Under state law, state vehicles are only permitted for official business use. Certain officials, such as the Governor, Highway Patrol, DCI, and Conservation Officers, are allowed to use state-owned vehicles for other purposes (such as Highway Patrol, who can take their patrol cars home). Importantly, however, this exception to the “SOEs only” rule does not apply to any aircraft owned or leased by the state.

Hughes County State Attorney Jessica Lamy is currently receiving an official complaint about Nome’s use of state aircraft from former Attorney General (AG) Jason Ravnsborg Proposed. The complaint was referred to the Government Accountability Commission, which in turn referred it back to the Attorney General’s Office.

Mark Vargo, the current AG appointed by Noem, has opted to recuse himself from handling the complaint, instead handing it over to LaMie.

Talk to KELOLAND on the morning of September 9th. On the 16th, LaMie declined to discuss the details of the investigation, but said she had received a complaint from the GAB and had been meeting with DCI as the information was gathered.

KELOLAND knows the following facts:

A state plane flew from Pierre to Custer State Park, where it picked up Gov. Noam, who was helping prepare for his daughter’s wedding, and flew her to Juul’s Girls State speech. From Vermillion, Noem flew to Aberdeen, where she spoke at Boys State. After Aberdeen, the state plane returned to Pierre, where it was located, but before making a detour back to Custer State Park, it deposited Nome along with her son Booker, two nephews and a family friend There they are all at one point. Deputy Chief of Staff Beth Horace and Highway Patrol Officer Ryan Tennyson were also in the car.

In state law, there is no clear definition of what a “state-owned enterprise” is. Fury offered an explanation, pointing out that the entire itinerary, even the part from Aberdeen to private family activities before the plane returned to Pierre’s hangar, constituted a matter of state, as it was bringing the Governor back from said affairs. However, this interpretation may be open to question.

Neil Fulton is the dean of the Knudsen School of Law at the University of South Dakota. He gave an interview to KELOLAND News on Friday, noting that his views do not represent those of the law school or the board.

Fulton pointed to an interesting factor during the discussion.

“I think what’s a little bit curious about some positions is that for a constitutional official like a governor or an attorney general, maybe it’s more difficult to define the full scope of state affairs, you know, to a certain extent personal, professional and political mix,” Fulton said.

In short, it is relatively rare for a governor to act entirely in a personal, political or official capacity. “Sometimes you’re timing all three of those things,” Fulton said.

“Suppose you go to a college campus to give a speech,” Fulton said. “You might be talking about higher education, higher education policy, which is very much a state business. Essentially, there’s a political component to it, yes, you’re in front of potential voters. In a state like South Dakota, There’s a good chance you’ll meet a friend or a friend’s child and have a private conversation along the way.”

This axis of interest can be visualized as a triangle divided into three parts; official, political and personal. Every action the governor takes will fall somewhere in this triangle.

Interest axis

For example, dinner with family at home will fall entirely into the “personal” corner, as far away from “official” and “political” as possible. But would the flight from the wedding to the state of girls and boys and then back to the wedding with family fall on this axis?

Most would say there must be an official element to the trip, considering that Noam speaks as governor of the girls and boys state. There could also be a political dimension to the trip, as any public speech by officials, state-run or not, is sure to influence public perception.

The crux of the matter may have been the personal aspects of the trip, arguably the presence of the family, and the flight from Aberdeen to Custer State Park, whose whole purpose was to pass the name on to her daughter’s wedding.

Does the presence of personal factors make travel personal, or does the presence of official motives transcend personal factors?

“One of the things I’m going to say is that I think what the regulations don’t address is the phrase ‘act only for state business,'” Fulton said. “You’re going to have to assess – is this referring to the main purpose of the trip? Or are you going to say that if there was any personal element sneaking into it, that trip was tainted?”

Fulton also noted that state regulations allow individuals to use other state vehicles, with the exception of airplanes.

“I think it’s certainly a reasonable reading to look at the statute and say the legislature thinks it can treat aircraft use differently and be stricter because no one stops for a gallon of milk on the way home from the plane, ‘ said Fulton.

This highlights a potential reason why the plane is not exempt. While it’s conceivable that an officer heading home in a designated state vehicle might take a short detour to pick up their child from school or pick up a gallon of milk from the store, such a detour doesn’t seem reasonable on a plane.

This could be due to the increased distance travelled by planes compared to cars, the higher cost of travel, or due to regulations on how planes travel, take off and land. Taking a detour a few blocks to the local school to pick up your kids can be very different from flying hundreds of miles to pick up your kids.

“There’s a reason you get on a plane and take off and go to a specific place,” Fulton explained. “You don’t really go all the way and say, ‘Hey, let’s walk away and say hi to Bob, because we’re driving Passed by his house. So I think the different nature of planes and cars must be part of that.”

Fulton said anyone who wants to determine whether there is a mistake will try to parse the intent of the agency that enacted the law in 2006, the voting public who passed the law as an initiative in an election. Any ruling will likely need to consider what the intent was when the law was approved, saying “other than in the business of the state”.

Currently, that responsibility rests in Hughes County Court, with State Attorney Lamy.

Source link