State Sen. Frye-Mueller files federal lawsuit as Senate Select Committee begins investigation

The South Dakota Senate Select Committee on Discipline and Expulsion holds its first meeting Monday evening, taking an oath and setting up procedures.

The meeting lasted just over seven minutes.

The committee will hear testimony about a complaint filed against Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller of Rapid City by a Legislative Research Council staffer last week. They will investigate the senator for allegedly harassing a legislative aide during an exchange over childhood vaccines and breastfeeding.

In the complaint, the female employee described what started as a meeting to discuss pending legislation with Sen. Frye-Mueller and her husband, Mike Mueller, a lobbyist turned into a tearful lecture that the staffer should not vaccinate her baby. The staffer then describes a very inappropriate exchange on breastfeeding. The conversation occurred on the afternoon of Jan. 24, 2023, in the LRC offices.

The hearings will be open to the public except when the state employee involved testifies.

The select committee is scheduled to meet again this evening.

In addition, Frye-Mueller filed a lawsuit Monday in Federal District Court in Pierre to reinstate her and prevent any further action against her pending the Senate proceedings. Frye-Mueller says she was given no notice of her suspension, and the move has disenfranchised the voters of District 30.


January 31, 2023