Lobbyist Prevails In Lawsuit Against House Speaker

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South Dakota Municipal League executive director Yvonne Taylor won a settlement Friday in her federal court action against South Dakota House Speaker Steven Haugaard.

“I can say this,” Taylor said as she left the near-empty third floor legislative chambers at about 3:30 p.m. CT.

She listed three items:

No retribution.
Restoration of her floor access.
Haugaard’s agreement to pay the municipal league’s attorney fees.

“Now we’re done,” she said.

Earlier in the day Haugaard declined to comment. “Maybe next week,” he said.

The Sioux Falls Republican had banned Taylor from the House floor last week for comments she made in a Municipal League newsletter last May.

Taylor’s lawyer David Lust had sought a preliminary injunction against Haugaard. Rich Williams, a lawyer for South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, represented Haugaard.

A federal hearing was scheduled for Thursday morning. But a meeting between lawyers Wednesday night made that unnecessary, according to Tim Bormann, who is the attorney general’s chief of staff.

Bormann said at mid-afternoon Friday that lawyers were still making final settlement arrangements.

In her May column, Taylor suggested voters make a distinction between what she called “The Normals” and the “Wackies.”

One sentence said: “We desperately need to get that ‘wacky ratio’ down.”

The House and Senate chambers are open to anyone except during the hours immediately before and after each day’s session.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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