update: At 16:43 on Friday, September 19, 2022, KELOLAND News had the following information..

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, South Dakota (KELO) — In response to a request for flight details in question on May 30, 2019, South Dakota DOT provided the following information regarding who was on the flight for each leg of the journey: Did.

All segments of the flight in question occurred on May 30, 2019. Here are the flight segments and passengers on board:

Leg 1 – Pierre to Custer – without passengers.
Leg 2 – Custer to Vermilion – Governor Noem, Beth Horatz, Ryan Tennyson.
Leg 3 – Vermillion to Aberdeen – Gov. Noem, Beth Hollatz, Ryan Tennyson, Booker Noem,
Nash Grantham, Hunter Arnold, Jack Ferguson
Leg 4 – Aberdeen to Custer – Gov. Noem, Beth Hollatz, Ryan Tennyson, Booker Noem, Nash
Grantham, Hunter Arnold, Jack Ferguson.
Leg 5 – Custer to Pierre – no passengers on board.

The DOT also provided justification for the flight, echoing Fury’s words from 2021, stating: Ask their governor and her questions. “

The wedding in question took place three days after Noem was dropped off at Custer.

Keroland News has confirmed details about a flight made by Gov. Christy Noem in the summer of 2019. The flight was used by the state-owned aircraft for the wedding of his one of the governor’s daughters.

For questions specifically about this flight, KELOLAND News received a response to RawStory from then-Noem Communications Director Ian Fury in 2021.

May 30, 2019, [Noem] She started her day at Custer. There, she helped her daughter Cassidy prepare for her wedding. She flew from Custer to Vermillion to Girls State Meeting where she spoke. She then flew to Aberdeen for the Boys State conference, where she also spoke. She was then dropped off at Custer where her day began.

Ian Fury Statement for 2021

In addition to forwarding this statement, the Governor’s Office also added: question.

Speaking to RawStory in 2021, Fury further clarified the Governor’s Office position, saying: “In Custer’s particular instance, Governor Nome originally went to Custer at his own expense.”

South Dakota’s laws regarding the use of state vehicles, including aircraft, are short, but they don’t risk being called “over-defined.”

5-25-1.1Using state-owned or leased vehicles and aircraft only for state-owned operations – Vehicle exception – Misdemeanor offense – Civil action and penalties.

Vehicles owned or leased by the state may only be used to conduct state business. No state official or employee, except the governor, South Dakota Highway Patrol law enforcement officers, Criminal Investigation Service law enforcement officers, and conservation officers, may use or authorize the use of any state-owned motor vehicle. in the conduct of state business; If, in order to make the most efficient use of State equipment or personnel, a supervisor instructs State employees in writing to use State vehicles for transportation, nothing in this section shall preclude the use of State vehicles. It is not prohibited.

(1) Between an employee’s residence and work station.Also

(2) between an employee’s temporary residence or dining location and a workstation when assigned to a location other than the employee’s home base;

For the purposes of this section, state-owned or leased aircraft may only be used in the conduct of state business. The above exceptions do not apply to the use of aircraft owned or leased by the State or its agencies.

A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor. The offender also seeks reinstatement of civil penalties not exceeding 10 times the costs incurred by the state for misuse of an aircraft owned or leased by South Dakota plus $1,000. subject to civil action by the State of South Dakota. situation. Any action seeking the recovery of civil penalties or damages shall be tried by a jury, if requested.

South Dakota Code of Laws

Under state law, state vehicles are only permitted to be used on official state business. Certain officials, such as Governors, Highway Patrol, DCI, and Conservation Officers, are permitted to use state-owned vehicles for other purposes (such as when Highway Patrol officers bring their patrol cars home). Importantly, however, this exception to state business-only rules does not apply to state-owned or leased aircraft.

Hughes County State Attorney Jessica Lamy now has an official complaint regarding Nome’s use of state planes, which has been filed with former Attorney General (AG) Jason Ravensborg. The complaint was referred to the Government Accountability Board, which returned it to the AG’s office.

Mark Vargo, the current AG appointed by Noem, has refused to handle the complaint, opting instead to leave it in LaMie’s hands.

On the morning of September 16, Lamy spoke with KELOLAND and declined to discuss details of the investigation, but said he had received a complaint from GAB and was meeting with DCI while gathering information.

Here are the facts that KELOLAND knows:

A state plane flew from Pierre to Custer State Park where she picked up Governor Noem, who was helping prepare for her daughter’s wedding, and flew her to speak at the Girls’ State in Vermilion. From Vermillion, Noem flew to Aberdeen to speak at Boys State. After Aberdeen, the state plane returned to its home base, Pierre, but was diverted back to Custer Provincial Park to entrust Noem and his son Booker, two nephews and a family friend. some points. Deputy Chief of Staff Beth Horatz and Highway Patrol officer Ryan Tennyson were also on board.

State law does not clearly define what exactly constitutes a “state business.” Fury offered the interpretation that the entire trip from Aberdeen to a private family event before the plane returned to Pierre’s hangar constituted a state business. However, that interpretation may be debatable.

Neil Fulton is president of the University of South Dakota’s Knutson School of Law. He spoke with KELOLAND News on Friday, pointing out that his views do not represent those of the law school or the board of directors.

Fulton points out an interesting factor in the course of the discussion.

“One of the things that bothers me a bit about some positions is that constitutional officials, like governors and attorneys general, probably find it difficult to define the full scope of the state’s work. There is certainly a certain mix of political and political elements,” Fulton said.

Simply put, there are relatively few situations in which governors are fully acting in their personal, political, or official capacity. increase.

“Let’s say you go to a college campus and give a speech,” said Fulton. “You are probably going to be talking about higher education, higher education policy. This is a very state line of business. In a state like South Dakota, there’s a fair chance you’ll run into a friend or a friend’s child and have a personal conversation along the way.”

This axis of symmetry can be visualized as a triangle divided into three sections. Official, political, personal. Every action taken by the governor falls somewhere in this triangle.

axis of interest

For example, a dinner at home with the family falls perfectly into the ‘personal’ corner as far away from ‘official’ and ‘political’ as possible. , and where does flying to a wedding with the family fall on this axis?

Most would say that there is certainly a formal element to the trip, given that Norm has spoken in both Girls’ and Boys’ states in his capacity as Governor. Likely included, any public speech by a public official, state-owned business or not, certainly affects public perception.

At the heart of the matter was the personal side of the trip, it was the presence of the family, the leg of the flight from Aberdeen to Custer State Park, the whole purpose of which was to deliver Noem to. her daughter’s wedding.

Does the presence of a personal element make travel personal, or does the presence of public motives negate the personal element?

“I think one of the issues the law leaves open is the language ‘to be used only in the conduct of state business,'” Fulton said. “You have to assess — does that refer to the main purpose of the trip? Or are you saying that a personal element in there would ruin the trip?”

Fulton also noted that state law allows exemptions for personal use of other state-owned vehicles, but not for aircraft.

“I think it’s certainly a plausible reading to say that, looking at the law, Congress thought it could treat the use of airplanes differently and more restrictively,” Fulton said.

This highlights a potential reason for the lack of exemptions for aircraft. While it is conceivable that a police officer driving home in his assigned state vehicle would make a short detour to pick up a child from school or purchase a gallon of milk from a store, such a detour would be It can look much less reasonable on an airplane.

This may be due to the longer distances traveled by planes compared to cars, higher travel costs, or regulations governing the movement, take-off and landing of planes. There’s a big difference between detouring a few blocks to the local school to pick up your kids and flying hundreds of miles to do the same thing.

“There’s a reason we got on a plane, took off, and flew to a certain place,” Fulton explained. “On the way, you don’t say, ‘I’m driving by Bob’s house, so let’s just pull over and say hello to Bob.’ think.”

Fulton said anyone trying to determine whether a mistake was made would try to figure out the intent of the agency that enacted the law in 2006. Judges will need to take into account the intent with which the statute “other than in the conduct of state business” was approved.

That responsibility now rests with Hughes County Court, along with state attorney Lamy.

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