Press "Enter" to skip to content

Dems Ask Rounds AG Appointee to Recuse Self from Investigation; Jackley Rebuffs

The South Dakota Democratic Party is officially calling on Attorney General Marty Jackley to recuse himself from the investigation of financial misconduct in the Governor's Office of Economic Development. I post their press release in full, because they make the argument well... with hyperlinks!

South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Zach Crago today called on Attorney General Marty Jackley to recuse himself and his office from investigating financial misconduct at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).

“Attorney General Jackley told the Aberdeen American News on Sunday he has no conflict of interest investigating financial misconduct at the GOED during the Rounds-Daugaard Administration - even though he has already cleared his political patron former Governor Mike Rounds as a target,” said Crago. Governor Mike Rounds appointed Marty Jackley as Attorney General in 2009.

“The Rounds-Daugaard Administration granted the lucrative EB-5 contract to SDRC President Joop Bollen,” said Crago. “It simply defies belief that a real investigation would not look into the circumstances surrounding that decision.”

That Jackley has already exonerated the Governor who appointed him before a thorough investigation could be completed isn't the only conflict of interest either, Crago said.

“Jackley’s largest 2012 campaign contribution came from Harvey Jewett, a partner in the law firm that represents Joop Bollen, the individual who had his EB-5 contract terminated for cause."

"Clearly, Jackley's ties to his political patron and benefactor present conflicts of interest that preclude Jackley from fairly investigating financial misconduct at the GOED. That's why we're calling on Jackley to recuse himself and the Attorney General’s Office from this matter immediately,” concluded Crago [South Dakota Democratic Party, press release, 2013.11.18].

Attorney General Marty Jackley rebuts:

This spring the Governor requested the Attorney General to review alleged individual financial misconduct in the Governor's Office of Economic Development. Because the alleged financial misconduct did not relate to the Attorney General's Office there is no direct or indirect conflict of interest. Because the alleged individual financial misconduct did not relate to Mike Rounds, he is not a subject of the ongoing review [Attorney General of South Dakota, press release, 2013.11.18].

Pause: misconduct is alleged in the Governor's Office of Economic Development. But that alleged misconduct did not relate to the Governor.

Chew. Swallow.


The EB5 program is a federal immigration program run and controlled by federal immigration authorities. While state authorities should have the ability and the opportunity to assist our federal partners in the enforcement of immigration law and programs, I respect that the United States Supreme Court has significantly limited state authority over federal immigration law. See Arizona v. United States, 267 U.S. _____ (2012)( SD Amicus Curiae in support of state authorities). Accordingly, the United States Attorney and the Department of Justice have primary authority over federal immigration law and the EB5 program. To the extent federal authorities request assistance from the Attorney General there is no direct or indirect conflict of interest, because the Attorney General's Office was not involved in the drafting, the review, nor the approval of said program or contracts [AG-SD, 2013.11.18].

I may just stop referring to the state investigation, because Attorney General Jackley's baloney makes clear he's not investigating very eagerly. We'll have to wait for the feds to tell us what went wrong in the Governor's office, what happened to the EB-5 money, why Northern Beef Packers was buying an offshore lender and sending money to Russia... and who killed Richard Benda.

p.s.: Four weeks after the suspicious death of the chief of the Rounds GOED, three weeks after the EB-5 scandal erupted, the Republican blog best poised to set the record straight, defend Rounds, and explain why EB-5 visas are not a problem continues to mention not one word about the real issues and instead distracts his readers from this controversy by pointing out that Democrats have a tough time winning elections in South Dakota. If Pat Powers claims to be a journalist, his evasion on the GOED/EB-5 scandal is irresponsible and disgusting.

Next up in breaking news from "South Dakota's #1 Political Web Site": the sky is blue!


  1. owen reitzel 2013.11.18

    "Because the alleged individual financial misconduct did not relate to Mike Rounds, he is not a subject of the ongoing review."

    this statement alone should make Jackley recluse himself. I don't know if Rounds had anything to do with this or not, but to say the investigation is not related to Rounds is careless at the least. If Rounds didn't k now of it he should of.
    If I was Rounds I'd want to be investigated so I could be cleared and done with this.

  2. Wayne Pauli 2013.11.18

    Six degrees of separation...but when it comes to the South Dakota GOP there is much less than Six...if you do not wish to be recused then what or who are you hiding? This is going to end badly for some people.

  3. Mickie Hortness 2013.11.18

    Thank you Madville Times for keeping us all informed about this ongoing scandal. This is where I turn for the lastest, most up-to-date information. Thank you.

  4. sid 2013.11.18

    Well, at least someone used the defibrillator on the SD Democratic Party finally!

  5. owen reitzel 2013.11.18

    Well PP kind of mentions the EB5 investigation at the DWC. He blasts the SDDP for wanting AG Jackley to recuse himself from the investigation.

    "If they had one left to jump, I’d argue this morning, South Dakota Democrats jumped the shark in calling for South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley to recuse himself from an investigation into one of the offices of state government:."

    Now you see why I put sort of. He wants it to go away but it won't.

  6. David Newquist 2013.11.18

    The link to Vote Smart which shows Harvey Jewett as the largest contributor to Jackley's campaign with $2,000 also reveals an example that shows that the power structure which works under a blanket of secrecy has bipartisan aspects. Not too far down the list from Jewett is former, allegedly Democratic, Brown County State's Attorney Kimberly Dorsett with a $1.000 contribution to the Dorsett campaign. It was under her auspices that criminal charges were brought against an assistant, Brandon Taliaferro, and a children's advocate, Shirley Schwab, which were dismissed in circuit court for the lack of substantive evidence. [] Taliaferro briefly announced a campaign for the State's Attorney office on the Republican ticket, but abandoned it.

    The office was won by a Republican candidate, Larry Lovrien, but complaints about manufactured and distorted testimony iin criminal cases have not stopped with the change of regime.

    The Attorney General's office has sat on the information about the Benda death for a month. And the question is, in how many states could that happen? In South Dakota, the absolute control of information on the performance of government has bipartisan participation. And a large coterie of those who will insist that such matters are not the public business and the wiser authorities will tell us in due time.
    And some folks think the Soviet Union was the epitome of tyranny. But some folks just love it. It keeps them from having to face that they are part of a corrupt society.

  7. Bree S. 2013.11.18

    PP has more important things to report on like Lederman's SLAPP suit against Stace.

  8. Bree S. 2013.11.18

    Oh I read the DWC "article" - and look another Rounds appointee (the judge) doing his dirty work and refusing to recuse herself. What a surprise. The SDGOP is the most embarrassing state GOP in existence. Everything they do makes me wince.

  9. Lynn G. 2013.11.18

    I cannot believe they have not released the cause of death for Mr. Benda yet! So I guess this possible conflict of interest with the state AG, EB5 and whatever else this will fade and quietly be swept under the rug.

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.11.18

    David—wow! We pull one thread, and the whole thing unravels. Is there anyone in the state we count on to tear apart the power structure? Or are we all so tied into that the feds are our only hope?

  11. Jim 2013.11.18

    PP tried to contain it initially, but more comments started slipping through. Now he's more in deflection mode. I like how he refers to the GOED as one of the "state offices". Jurisdictional issues aside, the bottom line is that this was money entrusted to people of South Dakota, presumably to drive economic benefit to the state, and now it is a mess, millions lost and a man is dead. Most South Dakotans I know will expect some answers.

  12. chris 2013.11.18

    For the future of our state, I hope there is a federal grand jury at work, somewhere.

  13. David Newquist 2013.11.18

    A real federal investigation is our best hope, because even if they screw it up we have a Freedom of Information Act that will eventually allow us to find out how and why. I say that because the FBI has acquired quite a reputation here in Indian Country. South Dakota is the Siberia of the FBI and the Episcopal Church.

  14. TCMack 2013.11.19

    Hey Cory, I wonder how much PP knows about this stuff through the Sec. Of State office job when he was working there. Maybe PP knows where the rabbit hole leads and he is protecting himself and the ones involved?

  15. interested party 2013.11.19

    TC: good to hear from you. The Computer Guys have been talking about the state's IT infrastructure but have refused to take my question on that very observation.

  16. WR Old Guy 2013.11.19


    Check Bob Mercer's article in the RCJ on how the EB-5 money was transferred between projects. It gets more and more tangled as we peel back layers.

Comments are closed.