South Dakota AG passes plane inquiry to accountability board

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, center, checks her phone before taking off, Monday, July 26, 2021 in Pierre, S.D. The state is selling the plane, a 1988 King Air 200, as it updates its fleet. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s purchase of an updated state airplane was completed Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021 with the state opting for a bigger, faster and newer turboprop after some lawmakers questioned whether she was hoping to buy a jet. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – The South Dakota attorney general says a request from a state lawmaker to investigate Gov. Kristi Noem’s use of the state airplane should be handled by a board that’s responsible for reviewing allegations of misconduct from state officials.

Democratic state Sen. Reynold Nesiba in February requested the attorney general to investigate whether Noem had violated state law by flying on the state airplane to events hosted by political organizations.

Noem had defended her travel to those events as part of her role as an “ambassador for the state” and said she has always used the plane according to state law. 

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