The former Public Works Director for the City of Brookings is sentenced for Grand Theft by Embezzlement in Sioux Falls.

Forty-one-year-old Duane Buthe was given 100 days in jail and three-years probation.

The conviction stems from Buthe’s involvement with the South Dakota Association of County Highway Superintendents when he was the Minnehaha County Highway Superintendent and also serving as secretary of the organization from 2013-2020.

Buthe admitted misappropriating funds during his tenure as secretary and admitted that the purpose was to personally benefit himself. Buthe told the judge he had a “lapse of judgment” when he used an association credit card to buy items like food, gifts and travel.

Buthe had already made restitution of more than $100,000 at his February plea hearing.

The judge gave Buthe credit for quickly paying back the money but said he had “abused the public trust.” She suspended a 10-year prison sentence but gave him the 100 days in jail.

Buthe became Brookings Public Works Director in March of last year and was indicted in August.


March 18, 2022