SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A new report has summarized the Government Operations and Audit Committee’s findings into the appraiser saga involving Governor Kristi Noem’s daughter.
The report can now be found in the appendix of the minutes from the committee’s December meeting where former director of the South Dakota Appraiser Certification Program Sherry Bren testified to the committee.
In five pages, the report lays out the shortage of appraisers in South Dakota and other rural states and how Noem became involved. You can read the report in the document below.
Noem’s daughter, Kassidy Peters, had been working through the appraisal licensing and certification program and “had an agreed disposition to correct training work deficiencies.”
The report notes South Dakota Department of Labor Secretary Marica Hultman changed the disposition agreement and removed the requirement for additional course training. The report says “this was the first time the DLR Secretary inserted herself into any disposition agreement.”
On July 20, 2020 a notice of denial was mailed to Peters regarding her training progress. Seven days later, a meeting was held at the Governor’s residence including Noem, Hultman, Bren, Peters, Amber Mulder, Tom Hart, Graham Oey and Tony Venhuizen. Bren was asked about Peters’ work product and how many denials there have been annually over the past four years.
A stipulation agreement between Peters and the DLR was made in August to give Peters “a third chance to pass the level of certification she was trying to attain.”
Bren left her job six months later and told the committee she was forced to retire. A settlement agreement of $200,000 was paid for an age discrimination claim made by Bren.
During testimony in front of lawmakers on the committee, Bren said “she could not recall a situation/meeting, or a Stipulation Agreement, similar to the one regarding Kassidy Peters.
The report notes after the December 2021 GOAC meeting, members of Noem’s staff “made public comments questioning the integrity of some of Sherry Bren’s statements.”
Peters announced she would shut down her real-estate appraisal business and surrender her license.
The South Dakota Government Accountability Board has decided to hire an attorney to advise them on the legality of the issues being raised.