Ex-official prepares to speak to Noem, assessment agency investigation | South Dakota News

SIOUX FALLS, SD (AP) – South Dakota lawmakers will meet next month to hear from a former state employee at the center of questions over Gov. Kristi Noem’s meddling in a state agency assessing the claim of his daughter for a real estate appraiser’s license.

The Legislative Assembly’s government operations and audit committee has scheduled a meeting for Dec. 14 after issuing a subpoena to Sherry Bren, the former director of the assessor certification program. Bren had suggested that the committee subpoena him because he is prohibited from disparaging state officials as part of a settlement agreement with the state.

Last year, Bren’s agency decided to deny Noem’s daughter, Kassidy Peters, an upgrade to her appraiser certification. But a few days later, Noem held a meeting that was attended by Peters, Bren and other decision makers in Peters’ license application. The state agency gave Peters another opportunity to apply for his license in an agreement signed next week.

Noem’s administration has categorically denied the wrongdoing and described Peters’ application process as being in the ordinary course of business. But government ethics experts say Noem may have abused his office’s powers.

Legislative Committee Chairman Senator Kyle Schoenfish has confirmed that Bren is due to speak at the next meeting.

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