The South Dakota Senate on Thursday suspended a Republican state senator in a rare move that stripped the lawmaker of all legislative power while keeping the allegations against her a secret.
Senators voted 27 to 6 Thursday afternoon to suspend and investigate Republican Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller, a business owner from Rapid City.
On the floor of the Senate, during consideration of the suspension, Frye-Mueller said she did not know what she was accused of…
To take the extraordinary action, the Senate had to vote to suspend the rules, which takes a two-thirds majority. Republican Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden, President of the Senate, was skeptical about the process. He says it violates due process for Frye-Mueller.
Republican Senate President Pro Tem, Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown, said they can take the steps necessary to “protect the decorum” of the law-making body.
Republican Sen. Tom Pischke of Dell Rapids spoke in support of Frye-Mueller, saying it’s not right to deprive the voters of her district their voice in the Senate.
After the vote, Sen. Frye-Mueller left the chamber.
January 27, 2023