South Dakota state Representative Kathy Tyler (D) of Big Stone City did not gather enough signatures to hold a special legislative session later this month to request an independent forensic audit of the Governor’s Office Of Economic Development, the South Dakota Regional Center, SDRC Inc. and the EB-5 program.
Tyler had asked for the special session last week after it was revealed that former Secretary of State Development and Tourism Richard Benda was being investigated for improperly diverting more than a half million dollars of a state grant to SDRC Inc. which was administering the federal EB-5 investment for citizenship program.
Benda was working for SDRC Inc. in early 2011 when the money was diverted away from the Northern Beef Packers plant in Aberdeen. Those details came to light after Benda committed suicide in October.
Tyler failed to gather the signatures of two-thirds of the lawmakers which would have paved the way for a special session. Tyler says she will now ask the legislature’s Executive Board to call for an independent forensic audit into the programs.
State Senator Ryan Maher (R) of Isabel is the chairman of the Executive Board. He says Tyler has a spot on the agenda to present her research into the programs during the board’s Monday meeting.
We'll hear from Tyler and Maher on KELOLAND News at 6.