Capitol News Bureau

Second Cabinet Member Confirms He Won't Be Part Of Gov.-Elect Noem's Team

Another member of Gov. Dennis Daugaard's Cabinet won't have his job after Gov.-elect Kristi Noem takes office January 5.

Tribal Relations Secretary Steve Emery said in an email Monday he was willing to talk later in the day.

Then he wrote back and said he didn't want to discuss it at all.

"I have decided to pass and have no comment," Emery stated.

Gov. Daugaard appointed Emery in October 2014.

Before that, Emery had been chief judge for the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe since 2011.

He had also been a special judge for the Yankton Sioux Tribe and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, an assistant judge for the Oglala Sioux Tribe and an advocate for Dakota Plains Legal Services in Pine Ridge.

Emery was an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and a graduate of Harrold High School and Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

He replaced J.R. LaPlante, who accepted a post with the federal office of U.S. Attorney for the South Dakota district.

Daugaard said he was excited when he named Emery. Daugaard said Emery as a judge had earned tribal people's trust.

The Legislature hosted annual State of the Tribes addresses the past three sessions.

In 2017, Emery was elected vice president for the national Governors Interstate Indian Council.

The organization held its 2018 general assembly at Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota in September.

On his state website, Emery's biography closes with one of his favorite mottos: "If you have all the answers, you don't know all the questions."

State Veterans Affairs Secretary Larry Zimmerman confirmed Friday he wasn't invited to be part of the new administration either.


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