User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

72° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options


TEMPERATURE LOCATION | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Back to all news


Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


Report: Weaknesses In SD Econ. Dev. Policies

February 13, 2014, 12:34 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Report: Weaknesses In SD Econ. Dev. Policies
Richard Benda


The third and final audit ordered by South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard following allegations of misconduct in the state economic development office was released Thursday.

The report from the South Dakota Department of Legislative Audit found that former Secretary of Tourism and State Development Richard Benda increased two Future Fund grants by a total of $600,000 for Northern Beef Packers just a month before he left office. The changes came in December 2010, shortly before Benda went to work as a loan monitor for NBP in Aberdeen.

However, the report does say the $600,000 never made it to Aberdeen because $850,000 was eventually returned to the Future Fund in February 2011, after the South Dakota Development Corporation decided NBP did not need the extra money.

The report was ordered in November after it was discovered that Benda inappropriately redirected $550,000 in grant money for his own loan monitoring; it was intended to pay for construction costs of the NBP plant. Benda committed suicide in October.

The Department of Legislative Audit says that transaction was between the South Dakota Regional Center and NBP, two private entities, so it was not within the scope of the audit that was just completed.

What the report did find is that there were gaps in policies that allowed for the transactions. 

“We do report a material weakness in policies and procedures concerning potential conflict of interest,” Auditor General Martin L. Guindon wrote in the report.

Benda did discuss an employment contract with SDRC Inc. in December 2011 while he was still working for the Department of Tourism and State Development, which was currently working with the department on the NBP project.

Daugaard said Thursday he is pleased that the audit found no other wrongdoing outside of the concerns surrounding Benda which were uncovered by the Attorney General last fall.

The legislature is planning to hold hearings on the investigations and allegations now that the audits are complete.

Click here to read the report.

Previous Story

Next Story



Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View politics

You may also like

Pro-Marijuana Group Planning Protest At State Fair

8/26/2014 6:08 AM

Supporters of medical marijuana and industrial hemp are planning on staging a protest Friday that will begin at the South Dakota State Fair.

Full Story
SD Senate Candidates Fire Away In First Debate

8/20/2014 9:32 PM

The four men running for South Dakota's open U.S. Senate seat didn't hold back during their first debate of the season.

Full Story | Watch
SD Dems Want In-Person Testimony On EB-5

8/26/2014 11:25 AM

South Dakota Democrats want Governor Dennis Daugaard and former Governor Mike Rounds to testify in person and under oath about the immigrant investor ...

Full Story
Sorenson Pleads Guilty To Charge From GOP Caucuses

8/27/2014 1:54 PM

Former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from his switch of support from one Republican candidate for president...

Full Story
Congressional Hopeful Stands By Old Blog Posts

8/23/2014 11:33 AM

Republican congressional hopeful Jim Hagedorn is standing by his years-old blog posts where he lambasted women, American Indians, gays and national po...

Full Story