Ethics board dismisses Noem plane case, says law is unclear

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota’s ethics board has dismissed a complaint against Gov. Kristi Noem for using state government aircraft to attend events hosted by political organizations because state law does not define what is meant by “state business.”

The three retired judges on the Government Accountability Board evaluating the complaint met after they received the results of a Division of Criminal Investigation probe into trips the Republican governor took in 2019. They then unanimously voted to dismiss the complaint.

But former Judge David Gienapp, one of the board members, says “there may or may not have been actions contrary” to the state law that bars government aircraft from being used only while conducting “state business.” But state law does not define what state business is.


December 21, 2022