PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation will have a new director when state Attorney General-elect Marty Jackley takes office in January.

An announcement Monday said Jackley has chosen Dan Satterlee. The attorney general picks the DCI director.

Satterlee has worked since mid-2017 for the state Department of Public Safety as coordinator for the South Dakota Fusion Center. The office helps prevent terrorism and related criminal activity.

Satterlee previously spent more than 21 years at DCI, rising to an assistant director in 2011. His years there coincided with much of Jackley’s previous time as attorney general.

Jackley was appointed by then-Gov. Mike Rounds as attorney general in 2009 and subsequently won election in 2010 and 2014. Term-limited, Jackley sought the Republican nomination for governor in 2018 but lost in the primary election to the eventual winner, Governor Kristi Noem.

Jackley won the election to a third term last week unopposed. Helped by Noem’s endorsement, he narrowly turned back a challenge from then-DCI director David Natvig for the attorney-general nomination in June at the South Dakota Republican convention.

The South Dakota Senate convicted and removed Jason Ravnsborg as attorney general just days before the convention. Ravnsborg had appointed Natvig as DCI director. Noem appointed Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo as interim attorney general two days after the Republican convention. Vargo then removed Natvig.

Chad Mosteller, an assistant director, served as director during the interim. Jackley in August named a committee of current and former law enforcement officers to assist in the selection of a new DCI director.

Vargo’s office issued the news release Monday announcing Jackley’s selection of Satterlee, a South Dakota State University graduate and former corrections officer and U.S. Army Reserve
master sergeant.

“Dan Satterlee’s diverse experience in law enforcement, corrections, and the military has prepared him to lead the DCI as our new director. The DCI has a rich history of earning the public’s trust by working directly with local law enforcement across our state to solve crime and to keep our communities safe, and we are committed to building upon this earned reputation,” Jackley said in the statement.

“I would like to thank Attorney General-Elect Jackley and the selection committee for this great opportunity,” Satterlee said. “I look forward to working with the staff at DCI and law enforcement agencies across the state.”

Satterlee had a role in the 2018 settlement of $1.54 million awarded to former DCI agent Laura Zylstra Kaiser while Jackley previously was attorney general.

After complaining that she had been sexually harassed by others at the agency, Kaiser was put on a work-improvement plan. According to a federal judge in the case, Satterlee determined she hadn’t met the requirement of repairing relationships with co-workers. Kaiser subsequently was demoted and reassigned from Aberdeen to Pierre. She resigned five months later.

Noem courted Kaiser’s support during the 2018 primary and ran an ad against Jackley about the situation.

Four years later, Kaiser was one of the 2022 convention-nominating speakers for Natvig against Jackley. After falling short of the nomination, Natvig ran for a Fourth Circuit judge vacancy but lost Tuesday to Lawrence County State’s Attorney John Fitzgerald in a five-way race.