City of Brookings Public Works Director indicted for embezzlement in Minnehaha County

The current City of Brookings Public Works Director has been indicted for felony embezzlement by a Minnehaha County Grand Jury.

Duane Buthe was indicted Thursday for grand theft by embezzlement. The 40-year-old Buthe became Brookings Public Works Director in March of this year.

Brookings County States Attorney Dan Nelson is prosecuting the case in Sioux Falls. He will be serving as a Special Deputy State’s Attorney for Minnehaha County

Nelson says, beginning in May, the state Division of Criminal Investigation began looking into Buthe’s involvement with the South Dakota Association of County Highway Superintendents. From 2013-2020, he worked as the Minnehaha County Highway Superintendent while also serving as secretary of the association.

The indictment alleges that Buthe misappropriated over $100,000 dollars of association funds during his time as secretary. According to Nelson, the allegations include numerous retail transactions, cash withdrawals, and other misappropriations using the SDACHS account.

Nelson says the SDACHS is funded mostly by the taxpayers of South Dakota. He says counties across the state pay thousands of dollars to support the training and education of their Highway Superintendents.

Grand Theft by Embezzlement is a class 3 felony, punishable by up to 15-years in prison and/or a fine of up to $30,000.


August 27, 2021