User uShare Login | Register
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.


45° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.

KELOLAND.com | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Back to all news

Politics

Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Pfeifle Says It's Time To Move Forward

March 13, 2012, 5:59 PM by Brady Mallory

Pfeifle Says It's Time To Move Forward
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

The Sioux Falls City Attorney is not backing down even after a being called out for giving what some say was 'bad' legal advice.

The state Open Meetings Commission said the Council was too vague in its motion to fire former city clerk Debra Owen and broke the law.  Recently, City Council member Vernon Brown said City Attorney David Pfeifle should be fired.

City Attorney David Pfeifle said he is not worried about being fired because there would be no need for attorneys if the law was 100-percent clear.

"Frankly, if I were worried about my job, I wouldn't be doing my job properly because I would be looking at my own self interests rather than the public interest," Pfeifle said.

Pfeifle remains confident, saying he gave the best legal advice at the time.  According to him, there are no state Supreme Court decisions spelling out how to deal with personnel issues such as Owen's.

"When you don't have a court case right on point from South Dakota, you then look to, is there an attorney general opinion.  Yes, there was," Pfeifle said.

Pfeifle said the opinion, which dates back to 1990, states not to name an employee or give specifics about the issue.  He also said he even got the go-ahead from the Open Meetings Commission's legal advisor just hours before the September 14 meeting to give those instructions to Council members.

"No crime was committed by your city council.  I can assure the citizens of that.  A reprimand in this instance is only a civil penalty," Pfeifle said.

Council members felt differently and expressed embarrassment during the council meeting on March 12.  Council member Greg Jamison fired back when Pfeifle said he was between a rock and a hard place when it came to being transparent or protecting Owen. 

"If I had a yellow flag, I'd throw it right at you.  The rock and a hard place?  Are you kidding me?" Jamison said.

Pfeifle believes the issue will all blow over.

 "We'll move forward, make the changes we need to make so we're in full compliance.  Citizens of Sioux Falls need to rest assured the City Council and the Mayor, city government are committed to open government and that will continue," Pfeifle said.

Council members are interested in working with legislators to help clarify the state's open meetings laws.

1990 AG Opinion.pdf

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments





RELATED STORIES
Sponsored
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View politics

You may also like

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad Hospitalized

1/26/2015 12:37 PM

68-year-old Branstad fell ill at an event on Monday, and was transported by ambulance to Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines.   

Full Story
U.S. House GOP Abruptly Drops Vote On Abortion Bill

1/22/2015 6:20 AM

Republican leaders were forced late Wednesday to abruptly drop plans for House debate of legislation criminalizing most abortions after 20 weeks of pr...

Full Story
Deficit To Shrink To Lowest Level Of Obama Presidency

1/26/2015 2:08 PM

CBO says the deficit will be $468 billion for the budget year that ends in September. That's slightly less than last year's $483 billion defic...

Full Story
Med-Star Plans To Appeal SF Ambulance Ruling

1/26/2015 5:41 PM

The City of Sioux Falls announced Monday that an independent hearing examiner has found the city used a fair system to select the ambulance provider P...

Full Story | Watch
Trying To Fix Teacher Shortage From Within

1/27/2015 5:10 PM

With some of the nation's lowest wages, many South Dakota districts say it's nearly impossible to find teachers to fill open positions. L...

Full Story | Watch


Events