Draft report reveals Noem’s daughter received special treatment


SIOUX FALLS, SD (AP) — South Dakota lawmakers will consider a legislative report on Wednesday that finds Gov. Kristi Noem’s daughter received preferential treatment as she applied for a real estate appraiser’s license in 2020.

Last year, the Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee probed the certification process for Noem’s daughter, Kassidy Peters, after the Associated Press reported that the Republican governor called a meeting that included Peters and the agency’s top decision makers evaluating his license application just days after the agency had decided to deny him the license.

Peters had another opportunity to demonstrate that she could meet federal standards and received her license four months later. The draft report that will be considered by lawmakers on Wednesday says the additional opportunity deviated from established protocol.

“It was outside the requirements,” the report said. “Kassidy Peters should have waited the required six months and re-applied for that level.”

Shortly after Peters received her license in 2020, agency director Sherry Bren was forced into retirement. She eventually received a $200,000 settlement to withdraw an age discrimination complaint.

Noem’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the draft report. She has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

The draft report does not say whether Noem’s actions were appropriate during the episode. Earlier this year, the House also rejected a Republican-sponsored resolution criticizing the governor’s actions.

However, a separate government body, the Government Accountability Board, is currently investigating a complaint against Noem.

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