The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Governor’s meeting with daughter questioned


South Dakota Republican and Democratic legislator­s alike said Wednesday that they want more details from Gov. Kristi Noem’s administra­tion about a meeting last year that included the governor, her daughter and state employees overseeing an agency that had moved to deny her daughter’s applicatio­n to become a certified real estate appraiser.

In response to the report from The Associated Press this week, the Legislatur­e’s Government Operations and Audit Committee will look into the matter when it meets at the end of October, according to the committee chairman, state Sen. Kyle Schoenfish. The Republican governor has dismissed the report as an attack on her family, but lawmakers from within her party said they want answers from her administra­tion about what happened.

Schoenfish, a Republican, said the committee is still working out the details of how it will address the issue. Republican­s, who hold supermajor­ities in the Legislatur­e, will ultimately determine how farranging the inquiry is.

The AP reported Monday that Noem last year summoned to her office a state employee who was overseeing her daughter’s appraiser license applicatio­n just days after the agency moved to deny her the license. After the meeting, Noem’s daughter, Kassidy Peters, was not denied a license, according to the Department of Labor and Regulation. Peters received her certificat­ion four months later, on Nov. 25, 2020.

A week after Peters received her license, the state employee who directed the agency was allegedly pressured to retire by Noem’s Cabinet secretary. The state employee, Sherry Bren, eventually received a $200,000 payment from the state to withdraw an age discrimina­tion complaint and leave her job.

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