PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Legislative Research Council is looking once again for a lawyer to be the state government’s code counsel.
The code counsel works with the Legislature’s Rules Review Committee regarding state administrative regulations and with the state Code Commission on aligning state laws and handling other legal matters of importance to the state’s courts and to lawyers and their clients.
The post has experienced repeated turnover — three lawyers in a row have left for other opportunities and two more decided to not accept job offers — since the 2019 retirement of Doug Decker, who was later appointed to the Code Commission.
The LRC provides professional staff to the Legislature, whose Executive Board oversees the LRC. The board appoints the code counsel and one of the code commission’s five members. Senator Lee Schoenbeck, R-Watertown, chairs the board this year.
The board chose Aaron Scheibe of Pierre on May 16. But Scheibe, a former chief of staff for Governor Kristi Noem, turned down the job the next day, according to Schoenbeck. The board met again on May 18 and chose Michael Loesevitz, a former LRC attorney, and agreed to offer a $115,000 salary.
But Loesevitz later decided against moving back to Pierre, according to Schoenbeck. The LRC has now re-opened the search process.
Schoenbeck said word of the continuing vacancy has been spread to the courts and was made known to the general legal community during the South Dakota State Bar Association convention earlier this month.