SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Former Attorney General Marty Jackley says issues brought before the Government Accountability Board concerning Governor Kristi Noem would have been handled differently under his watch. Jackley served as AG from 2009 to 2019 and is on the November ballot.

Governor Kristi Noem faced two complaints. That she intervened with a state agency to influence her daughter’s application for a real estate appraiser license and that she used the state airplane for personal use flying to political and family events.

Jackley says he would have approached things differently than former Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.
According to Jackley, the board wasn’t formed to handle criminal issues.

“It’s set up for the Attorney General or State’s Attorney to make the criminal decisions, and that’s what the public has chosen us to do, and that’s what we do as a function of those prosecution jobs,” said Jackley.

Ravnsborg alleged that Noem’s use of the state-owned plane violated a state law that only allows the aircraft to be used for state business. The Government Accountability Board, made up of former judges, looked at the complaint and sent it back to the Attorney General’s Office and the Division of Criminal Investigation for further action.

“So basically the way I interpret it, they are saying these are matters of criminal nature, we are a board set up to address matters of ethical misconduct, so you as the prosecutors need to investigate it and take whatever criminal action you believe would be appropriate,” said Jackley.

To avoid even the appearance of impropriety, acting AG Mark Vargo, appointed by Noem, moved the case to Hughes County State’s Attorney. Jackley feels that is appropriate.

“We see that all the time where that concurrent jurisdiction allows either the Attorney General or a State’s Attorney to handle a prosecution, and that’s why it’s so important the Attorney General and the State’s Attorney’s are on the same page,” said Jackley.

Jackley is running unopposed and will be sworn into office again in January. He ran for Governor in 2018 but was defeated in the Republican primary by Kristi Noem.