According to South Dakota law, the Attorney General needs to ask the Governor for permission to start an investigation. On Tuesday, the Judiciary Committee will be taking up a bill that would repeal that.
KELOLAND Investigates has been looking into whether the law has been in use for major investigations like E-B5 and GEAR UP.
"Frankly, we don't know and that's why it's important we find out if it's been used in order to see if we need to actually repeal that legislation," Senator Lance Russell said.
Russell sent letters to the offices of both Governor Dennis Daugaard and Attorney General Marty Jackley asking them to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week.
"I am curious about what the process is and how many times it has been used in the past, “Russell said.
But we don't need to wait until the hearing to find out.
"I don't recall anytime that the Attorney General has asked my permission to initiate an investigation. I've asked him to investigate agencies of my government on occasion. But he's never asked my permission to investigate. I assume he'd just get a warrant," Daugaard said
"I recognize the legislature is looking at that independence and I think that independence is very important and we should keep it that way. I can say as Attorney General, I've never had any inappropriate influence from a governor about what charges to bring or what cases to investigate," Jackley said.
Jackley says his office under the state constitution is separate from the Governor's and he has the power to act without Daugaard's permission.
"That is what the people of South Dakota elect their Attorney General to do, is to be independent and to bring those investigations when the evidence supports that,” Jackley said.
So what's the law doing on the books then? KELOLAND News will follow the testimony before the Senate committee Tuesday and let you know what happens.
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