Northern Beef Packers under federal investigation - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Northern Beef Packers under federal investigation

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More information has surfaced involving a federal investigation into South Dakota's Economic Development Office.

That investigation now has ties to Aberdeen's bankrupt Northern Beef Packers' plant.

The Associated Press says two people associated with the facility have been questioned by federal investigators about the plant's financial dealings.

The Economic Development Office's goal is to develop and encourage business in our state.

Rep. Steve Hickey says it is a very strategic and effective office. He says the office helped Northern Beef Packers get started.

"I know that the Office of Economic Development was involved in financially putting some money behind that and it went south. A lot of people were affected by that and so we sorted through some of that in Legislation the past couple of years to make sure those things don't happen again like they happened," said Rep. Hickey.

Whether the two are connected, he is not sure. Hickey says it must be pretty complex since we know so little. He expects a thorough investigation.

"I'm glad to see that they're getting to the bottom of it. It seems like federal and state governments are looking into it and if there's a problem, bring it to light. It'll be better for our state," said Rep. Hickey.

Richard Benda, the former Director of the Development Office, was found dead with a gunshot wound earlier this month.

There are questions about whether his death is connected to this investigation. However, House Minority Leader Bernie Hunhoff says he would be very surprised if he was involved with anything criminal.

"He's a good public servant. Everybody would agree he's a good public servant who wanted the same things we want. He wanted more economic growth,  better jobs for South Dakotans, better communities, stronger communities," said Rep. Hunhoff.

KSFY tried speaking with officials at Northern Beef Packers Thursday afternoon but they would not comment on the developments. 



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