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Duffy: Rounds Falsified Evidence to GOAC, Should Withdraw from Senate Race

At an 11 a.m. press conference in Rapid City today, South Dakota Democratic Party attorney Patrick Duffy accused Republican Senate candidate Mike Rounds of committing a felony and called on the former governor to withdraw from the race.

On September 22, 2014, in response to questions from the Legislature's Government Operations and Audit Committee, Rounds declared, "The governor's office 'was not served'" in the Darley v. SDIBI litigation.

On October 2, 2014, this blog and other media published proof of service of the governor's office in Darley v SDIBI on July 14, 2009, contradicting Rounds's testimony.

Duffy says that false statement violates SDCL 22-12A-16:

Falsification of evidence. Any person who prepares any false book, paper, record, instrument in writing, or other matter or thing with intent to produce it or allow it to be produced as genuine in any trial, proceeding, inquiry, or investigation authorized by law, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Duffy then points to SDCL 22-12A-10 for consequences of such felonious action:

Forfeiture of public office for violation--Disqualification from holding other office. The public office of any public officer or employee who is convicted of violating any provision contained in this chapter is forfeit. Moreover, such public officer or employee is forever disqualified from holding any public office in this state.

Duffy says that Mike Rounds and members of his campaign team prepared false evidence for GOAC's legally authorized inquiry. Duffy says that action disqualifies Rounds from holding public office in this state.

Committing a felony does not disqualify one from holding a seat in Congress; however, like the South Dakota Legislature, the Senate and House have the authority to refuse to seat members they deem unqualified to serve.

Duffy contends Rounds's guilt is so certain that he should do South Dakota a favor and withdraw immediately from the U.S. Senate race. Duffy says South Dakotans deserve a candidate who is qualified to hold office and who does not misrepresent facts before a legislative committee.

Given the content of the South Dakota Republican Party press conference in Sioux Falls earlier this morning, expect SDGOP chairman Craig Lawrence to call Duffy a coward and threaten to sue Duffy for saying mean things about Mike Rounds.


  1. Troy 2014.10.08

    Pat knows better than this and the SDDP/Weiland campaign can't help themselves by continually over-reaching in their charges. Whether it be under this statute or perjury, there is a requirement that the person knew it to be false. Beyond the fact, the assertion is unproveable, Rounds mea culpa and explanation is reasonable to everyone except the most partisan.

  2. larry kurtz 2014.10.08

    Jarding v. Wadhams: brains v. bunk.

  3. John Tsitrian 2014.10.08

    The Pressler team is high-fiving. As to Duffy "knowing better," Troy, I'd be amazed if he took it to this level without having some evidence that Rounds knew his original statement to the committee was false.

  4. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.08

    Troy, you are truly delusional, of course this is partisan,are so naïve to believe otherwise?
    Now, if GOAC should do its job of a complete investigation of Mike Rounds he wouldn't have these daily EB-5 headaches and threaten to sue when challenged.
    The proof is there Troy, look at it objectively and not in your usual partisanship.

  5. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.08

    Damn, I'm hoping the SDGOP will sue the tv stations.

  6. Bill Dithmer 2014.10.08

    22-12A-16. Sure looks like it pertains to someone in office. Unless I'm missing something Rounds isnt in office at this time.

    I like Duffy but it looks like he's throwing crap at the wall hopping something will stick. Its a great strategy but will never happen. Rounds at this very moment knows that win, loose, or drop out his reputation is on the line. At this point his only option is to stay in the race, and the only way he can save his rep is to win.

    Unless something can be found that is clear and irefutable in the next couple of weeks to hang MMR even at 35%, a win is a win.

    The Blindman

  7. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.08

    Dump Sit is rejoicing now that Every Voice Action has pulled that "vicious" ad about Mike Rounds complicity in EB-5. Of course, pulling the ad does not un-ring the bell, does it?
    Also, Powers has started the SDGOP attack on Larry Pressler as expected.

  8. Sid 2014.10.08

    As far as the repubs go, they have shown their ignorance of constitutional law by their statements about using "prior restraint" and seeking damages. (Hey- read "NY Times v. Sullivan" and then explain how Rounds is not a public figure!)

    But, Duffy does not have to fall into same trap! Just let facts speak for themselves and all the rest becomes easy!

  9. Bill Dithmer 2014.10.08

    22-12A-16 is interesting in another way. It would appear that some of the bills recently passes in SD might carry a few untruths in their texts, or the documentation leading up to those bills passing.

    Abortion bills come to mind. How about AG Jackleys testimony and statements whenever the legalization of marijuana, medical or otherwise, took place.

    Man when someone gets their hands on those records things could really start moveing. Darn i forgot those document fall under one of the exceptions to freedom of information.

    Never mind.

    The Blindman

  10. Chris Francis 2014.10.08

    Craig Lawrence is just rubbed that his firm didn't cash in on those ads, so next time, be sure to use the chosen firm of the no-bid contract, and Craig will surely look the other way.

  11. Chris Francis 2014.10.08

    Not wanting to spread falsehoods, we probably should list each of Craig's no-bid contracts with the state, worth tens of millions over time. I'd list each, but I can't seem to find an easily accessible listing, which is something, but this sums it up:

    December 27, 2008 • Kevin Woster, Journal staff
    The Lawrence & Schiller agency in Sioux Falls is a big fish in a relatively small South Dakota advertising and promotion pond.

    But these days, it's also a trophy target for those critical of the way state government awards no-bid contracts worth millions of dollars a year to private business interests. And nobody plays that contract game better than Lawrence & Schiller.

    The 32-year-old agency currently holds exclusive contracts with the South Dakota Department of Tourism and State Development worth more than $7 million. And since Gov. Mike Rounds took office in January of 2003, Lawrence & Schiller has been awarded more than $23 million in state contracts, most with tourism, and virtually all without competitive bids or alternative proposals from other firms.

    During that time, Rounds received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Lawrence & Schiller officials, something that critics say poses ethical issues that need to be addressed in state law.

    "I would hope pay-to-play is not taking place here," said state government reform activist Lee Breard of Pierre. "But I will let the taxpayers of South Dakota draw their own conclusions."

  12. bearcreekbat 2014.10.08

    While Tory argues, "there is a requirement that the person knew it to be false. Beyond the fact, the assertion is unproveable. . . " that argument carries no weight. Many criminal laws require proof of either intent or knowledge, yet that can never be known with any certainty absent a confession. Yet, our judicial system relies on jurors to decide whether they believe any defendant's claim of lack of knowledge. Circumstantial evidence that a defendant is lying about what he or she knew fully supports a jury's finding of knowledge and resulting conviction. Here the evidence of the governor's office being served in fact, coupled with the evidence that the governor's brother was involved with monitoring litigation against the state is more than enough evidence to support a jury's choice to disbelieve Rounds' exculpatory claims.

    Blindman's comment is partially right and partially wrong. He is correct that the second statute cited by Duffy appears to require the falsehood to be made during the public official's tenure. The first statute, however, has no such requirement for a perjury conviction, under which Rounds could be charged. I wonder whether the Senate would accept or respect a newly elected official with a perjury felony conviction?

    I do like and agree with Blindman's take on the variety of false statements made to support anti-marijuana laws and anti-abortion laws. If I were elected AG I would love to prosecute each and every SD legislator who made false statements to support their personal prejudices. But I am not running, dang it.

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.08

    Troy: reasonable? It's reasonable that the Governor had no knowledge of a lawsuit pertaining to an economic development program managed by his GOED chief and vital to the survival of one of his key legacy projects, Northern Beef Packers? Reasonable that when the monthly list of lawsuits against the state comes in, neither Mike Rounds nor his brother Dennis asks about those items to see if the Governor's office needs to take any action against whoever's responsible?

    Troy, I would think a governor or any good manager would want to know such details.

  14. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.08

    All together now, can we say "special prosecutor"!!!

  15. lesliengland 2014.10.08

    RACHEL MADDOW SHOW tonight takes apart the USSen races, @stevekornackie-Rounds, u feelin' that drop 'o sweat trickle down yer' arse?

  16. Union Co 2014.10.08

    The Ed Show (MSNBC) will focus on the SD Senate race tomorrow (Thursday 4pm) unless it gets bumped by breaking news.

  17. lesliengland 2014.10.08

    sorry about that "crack". MSNB's Kornackie to cover WEILAND race tonight on RACHEL MADDOW SHOW

  18. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.08

    Bumped? Heck, we are breaking news! Focus, Ed! All EB-5, all hour... and it may take an hour to explain EB-5, GOED, NBP, and why Mike Rounds bears the blame for a program turned into piracy for his pals.

  19. Bill Fleming 2014.10.08

    Chris Hayes discussed the race with Nate Silver. Then Racheal was briefed by Steve Kornacki. Steve says he's inviting all 3 onto his show this weekend.

    Mark this down as the day the gloves came off?

  20. joeboo 2014.10.08

    Today's the day sh*t got real.

    When GO3P brass are calling Weiland a liar and a hypocrite and threatening to sue the TV stations proves they are worried when national money and news is noticing they realize its getting real, which will create horse race politics

  21. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.10.08

    "All together now, can we say "special prosecutor"!!!" (Roger Cornelius.)


    I've just turned on the teevee machine to watch Chris and then Rachel. Should be fun.

    Gawd, I love watching the dirty cheaters go down. Reinforces my feelings of decency, justice, and hope for the world.

  22. Jane Smith 2014.10.08

    Withdrawing from the race is the only decent thing left for Rounds. If he is elected, to be prosecuted as a Senator is more disgraceful. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

  23. Dave 2014.10.08

    I see Wadhams has now given Pity Pat Powers orders to attack Pressler, and he's really snapped to it. Looks like Wadhams also supplied him with 25-year-old newspaper clippings to use as ammo. Too bad doesn't realize that South Dakotans are too smart to fall for the bait and switch tactics the Rounds campaign is attempting to try to focus that burning hot spotlight of scrutiny away from Marion.

  24. Jana 2014.10.08

    The GOED/Northern Beef/EB-5 scandal isn't the SDGOP's biggest concern, that's just the symptom.

    It's that people are finally waking up to the fact that the GOP stranglehold on unchecked is exactly what has got us into this mess and in the embarrassing national news picture again.

    This white hot spotlight should be a big red flag (did I just mix metaphors?) to all voters that checks and balances are a good thing. That a party so inbred and hungry for power is not a good thing.

    The mean girl clique has now become the GOP's worst nightmare. The insiders have been exposed and the public doesn't like it.

    Hopefully this will carry down ballot and South Dakota will achieve the common sense form of governance that we deserve.

  25. Jana 2014.10.08

    ***unchecked power***


  26. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.09

    I pretty much pissed Powers off this evening, the coward deleted a really powerful post by a very articulate lady that laid the responsibility of the Rounds EB-5 scandal right in his lap. Powers further showed his cowardice by saying, get this, "she was off topic".
    The Rounds Republicans are getting nervous, not just with Pressler's rise in the polls or the influx of money into Rick's campaign, but the national media is slowly picking up this story.

  27. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.09

    Special Prosecutor! Special Prosecutor!

    Note that Rounds has cleared the bar for intent on this statute. He prepared false evidence and produced it as genuine. Even if he was just having a senior moment (and Rounds has been not remembering more things than Larry Pressler ever did), he broke this law.

    Felony! Felony!

  28. mike from iowa 2014.10.09

    Didn't find any "special prosecutor" provisions in SD codified laws,but I did see this in Section 7-16-1

    No person shall be eligible to the Office of State's Attorney who is not duly licensed to practice as an attorney and counselor at law by the Supreme Court of this state.

    Makes one wonder why the A G doesn't have to be licensed attorney.

  29. Lynn 2014.10.09

    The SDGOP and DWC are really showing desperation. Comments are being deleted often now even though they are on topic but run contrary to the propaganda of supporting Rounds. Any factual data or arguments supporting Weiland or Pressler will be deleted.

  30. Bill Dithmer 2014.10.09

    BCB, maybe you can tell me about this. It seems as if in the Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure there is something called "rule 30. It deals with depositions and how and if they can be changed.

    I'm having a little trouble wrapping my mind around this. It seems like around 1970 correcting a deposition could only involve such things as spelling changes, and wrong dates. The the federal law on such matters changed. Most states adopted these federal rules.after that time and you could change what you said, even if it changed the meaning of the text. when that happens they have to present both versions in court and let the jury decide what to believe.

    Under rule 30 is Mike Rounds protected from prsicution for his changes even though they were a complete reversal to the original answer.

    The Blindman

  31. Don Frankenfeld 2014.10.09

    Mostly because I said something nice about C A Heidelberger, I would like to repost something I sent today to John Tsitrian:

    The unvarnished truth is sufficient to deny Mr. Rounds the coronation he has been expecting, but Mr. Duffy insists on varnish nonetheless. Duffy was billed as an attorney for the Democrats, not a party hack. He has some obligation to take his professional role seriously.

    Bombastic bullying by Mr. Duffy (I wonder if he knows the RCJ's anonymous "tipster") is a manipulative insult to the public. It adds nothing to the discussion, and in fact gives Mr. Rounds some undeserved cover, as the over-the-top charges imply that other attacks against Rounds are similarly lacking in principle.

    Duffy claims the Rounds misstatement violates state law (maybe so), and then says that leaves Rounds unqualified to serve "until a judge rules otherwise" (clearly wrong). As the Rapid City Journal points out, such state laws clearly do not apply to federal offices; Duffy almost certainly knows that, or ought to, and his weasel-words simply permit him to make headline-grabbing charges based on what I think is a willful misconstruction of the law. There is no need for this, and no utility.

    Recent comments, columns and stories by Mr. Tsitrian, Bob Mercer, Denise Ross, Seth Tupper, and (spectacularly) Cory Heidelberger, have given Mr. Rounds much to account for. Duffy himself has contributed substantially and materially to the discussion. Making up ridiculous legal theories is mere political theater, which ultimately benefits Mr. Rounds.

    Don Frankenfeld

  32. Jim 2014.10.09

    Pat's topic is kissing mike's ass and always has been. What is going to really burn that pudge is when Cory's blog is deservedly recognized as the best in the state. That should let some air out of his fat head. The quality of writing at madville is unmatched in the sd blogosphere, and that goes for the professionals who run blogs as well.

  33. john tsitrian 2014.10.09

    This is my response to Mr. Frankenfeld's post at the Constant Commoner:
    "Your point, as always with your points, is well taken, Mr. Frankenfeld. My feeling on this is that false testimony given to a legislative inquiry is serious enough to merit investigation. In this case, Rounds was able to produce the correct document instantaneously when he got called on the misstatement, which makes me think it was easily obtainable, if not at his fingertips. The facts lead to a couple of conclusions, one exonerating, the other incriminating. Was it an oversight or was there felonious intent? I think at this point it's up to the criminal justice system to reach a conclusion. I would like to see it investigated."

  34. bearcreekbat 2014.10.09

    Blindman, I don't think Rule 30 is relevant in Rounds case. I believe the rule is designed to allow a deponent in an oral deposition to correct any mistakes made by the court reporter in recording the testimony. I do not believe it insulates anyone from prosecution who makes a false statement under oath, and then changes the statement when evidence shows the original statement to be false.

  35. bearcreekbat 2014.10.09

    mike, interesting link. The thought processes behind such ideas might be originating with the brilliant analysis of conservative columnists, like Cal Thomas.

    In Thursday's RC Journal he argued that he would never believe mere "experts" on any topic, and that all government officials lie, so he would never believe them either. He implored government officials and experts to start telling the truth, which according to his column he would never believe anyway. Talk about a bubble.

  36. Steve Sibson 2014.10.09

    "Comments are being deleted often now even though they are on topic but run contrary to the propaganda"

    Lynn, now you know how I feel sometimes.

  37. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.09

    Even where you're on topic, you manage to get off topic, in fact I have never seen anyone that gets off topic easier than you.

  38. Lynn 2014.10.09

    They were not my comments Steve that were deleted. Will you please quit twisting comments to get attention for yourself? You have done this to other's here too.

  39. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.09

    Frankenfeld and Tsitrian offer very intelligent comments on Duffy's gambit. I agree that we can hang Rounds politically on everything that was said pre-Duffy. Mr. Frankenfeld points out reasonable arguments against Duffy's legal construction: Rounds not in office, statute not applicable to federal office, etc. I have no idea if a judge or jury would accept the argument, and I suspect we won't get to find out any time soon, since the Attorney General would have to bring the charges, and odds of that are nil.

    But if we're throwing spaghetti, consider how well this stuff sticks. What responses does Rounds have available?

    —I lied, but technically, this statute can't punish me for that lie?
    —I was simply mistaken, because I didn't get the facts before spouting off to GOAC?
    —EB-5 brought 5,000+ jobs to South Dakota... so what was the question?
    —Responding to such questions is beneath my dignity?

    Which of those responses puts votes back in Rounds's column?

  40. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.09

    Chris, you make a good point about Craig Lawrence's familiarity with no-bid contracts. I hear that the state requires such costly proposals that the smaller media firms can't even justify the expense of submitting a bid. Anyone else have intelligence on that?

  41. grudznick 2014.10.09

    Mr. H, I bet my good friend Bill has a lot of insight into that. But a bid is a bid, if you only have a row boat it's tough to bid on hauling the entire lacrosse team over the ocean when there are ladies out there with steam ships.

  42. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.09

    ...and all the harder, Grudz, if the port toward which you're headed is laying land mines in your way but not the fancy steamer's.

  43. grudznick 2014.10.09

    Mr. H, I don't think heading toward a port that is laying land mines in your way is a good idea, unless you mean them ill will. I would say one should head toward the welcoming ports that fit your sort of boat. Don't bite off more than you can swallow down, they always say. This is not unlike young Ms. Wismer's attempt to be the head of our state.

  44. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.09

    Getting Rounds perjury charges out there is enough at this point in the campaign, like you said Cory, let him explain it.

    It is like the Every Voice ad that Rounds threatened to sue over, the story is out there and you can't un-ring that bell.

  45. lesliengland 2014.10.09

    Yup. "Citizenship" or "auction" shorthand was like yelling "fire" in a darkened theater. Definitely woke up the public. Them PR types knows what theyz a doin'!!

  46. Catherine Ratliff 2014.10.11

    Speaking of felonies ... Re the mass deletion of emails regarding EB-5 transactions: SDCL 1-27-1.1 provides, "public records include all records and documents, regardless of physical form, of or belonging to this state." SDCL 22-11-4 provides that it is a class 5 felony (5 yrs in prison, $10,000 fine) for a public officer or employee to destroy, conceal, remove or impair the availability of any public record." Criminal act but whodunit.

  47. Catherine Ratliff 2014.10.11

    More on "speaking of felonies." Emails are not excepted from the state's records-destruction policy.
    According to Administrative Rule 24:52:11:01, any State government agency planning to destroy agency records shall notify the State Archivist 30 days before the date of the proposed destruction. The request shall include the name or title of the records, inclusive dates, information content of the records, and quantity. This rule applies to all records, including those granted exclusive or continuous disposal authorization by the Records Destruction Board, with the following exceptions: vouchers, original and copies, and supporting documents; warrants, original and copies, multiple copies of State publications stored in bulk; obsolete blank forms; photocopies of computer printouts; and original copies of records that have been legally reproduced under the provisions of SDCL 1-27-4.

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