The former Public Works Director for the City of Brookings pleads guilty to Grand Theft by Embezzlement in Minnehaha County.

Forty-one-year-old Duane Buthe was also ordered to pay combined restitution to Minnehaha County and the South Dakota Association of County Highway
Superintendents. The restitution amount, nearly $100,000, was paid in its entirety at Thursday’s hearing.

The conviction stems from Buthe’s involvement with the SDACHS when he was the Minnehaha County Highway Superintendent and also serving as secretary of the organization from 2013-2020. Buthe became Brookings Public Works Director in March of last year and was indicted in August.

Buthe admitted misappropriating county funds during his tenure as secretary and admitted that the purpose was to personally benefit himself.

Brookings County State’s Attorney Dan Nelson prosecuted the case while serving as a Special Deputy State’s Attorney for Minnehaha County. Nelson says his “focus in this case was to ensure the victims received compensation for their loss in a timely manner, and we did that today.”

Sentencing for Buthe is set for March 17.


February 11, 2022