PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced his appointments to the new Government Accountability Board on Wednesday.
The board was created this legislative session by House Bill 1076, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Karen Soli of Sioux Falls and Sen. Brock Greenfield of Clark.
The legislation, which took effect July 1, requires that the board be made up of four retired justices or judges. The Governor said the board is empowered to receive ethics complaints about statewide elected officials or executive branch employees, initiate investigations into complaints and refer alleged criminal activity to the Division of Criminal Investigation.
“House Bill 1076 wisely required that the Government Accountability Board be made up of retired judges, who are by their nature non-political and are known for their judgment and discretion,” Gov. Daugaard said. “These four appointees all have excellent reputations, and I thank them all for their service. The public can be confident that state government will continue to be operated ethically and will deal with wrongdoing if it arises.”
The Governor’s appointees to the board are:
• Justice Lori S. Wilbur, who retired from the South Dakota Supreme Court earlier this year after serving on the court since 2011. Prior to that service, she was a Sixth Circuit judge from 1999 to 2011. Wilbur also served as a magistrate judge and as an assistant attorney general, was chair of the South Dakota Judges Association, and served on the Judicial Qualifications Commission and the State Bar Ethics Committee.
• Judge Gene Paul Kean, who served as a Second Circuit judge from 1981 to 2006 and is a past chair of the South Dakota Judges Association. Prior to that service, he also served as Minnehaha County state’s attorney.
• Judge David R. Gienapp, who served as a Third Circuit judge from 2002 to 2013. Gienapp also served as an assistant attorney general, an assistant U.S. Attorney and as chair of the Judicial Qualifications Commission.
• Judge Patricia C. Riepel, who served as a Second Circuit judge from 2007 to 2016 and is a past chair of the South Dakota Judges Association. Prior to that service, she also served as a magistrate judge and as a Minnehaha County public defender.
House Bill 1076 required that no more than two board members be of the same political party. Justice Wilbur and Judge Gienapp are registered Republicans; Judge Kean and Judge Riepel are registered Democrats.
The appointments are effective immediately and are subject to Senate confirmation during the next legislative session.