Last updated on 2014.01.14
Attorney General Marty Jackley wrote to Senator Stanford Adelstein (R-32/Rapid City) yesterday. AG Jackley confirmed that the Legislature can impeach Secretary of State Jason Gant, but he said there's no criminal reason to do so.
In response to Senator Adelstein's June 18 request, AG Jackley spent the past month perusing 60,000 e-mails, 150,000 Internet usage logs, and 2.6 million electronic files from the Secretary of State's office (hey, Marty! did you find out which Gant staffer is Bill Clay? I mean really, what better explanation for Dakota War College's absolute silence on the Gant scandals than the fact that its main author is a Gant employee?). He reviewed Jason Gant's campaign finance papers and Gant's and Pat Powers's corporate filings.
Based upon witness information and document review, I concur with DCI's determination that there exists no evidence of state criminal violations within the scope of this investigation. The voluminous e-mails, internet usage and computer files provided no evidence that the activities of Secretary Gant, Mr. Powers or "Dakota Campaign Store" were in violation of state criminal statutes [Attorney General Marty Jackley, letter to Senator Stanford Adelstein, 2012.07.17].
AG Jackley's investigation and letter do not appear to address the Gant-Gosch notary scandal or Gant's awkward partisan activities. Jackley definitely does not address the perception problem by which Secretary Gant has damaged public trust in his office.
Senator Adelstein says the investigation was worthwhile, if for nothing else than leading to the removal of Powers from the deputy director's position in Gant's office. He does not signal that he'll push for impeachment, but he says he will pursue legislation to prohibit the Secretary of State from endorsing candidates... which could lead to some interesting First Amendment debates in Pierre next winter.