Attorney General's involvement in economic investigation questio - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Attorney General's involvement in economic investigation questioned

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Democratic leaders are asking the state's Attorney General to remove himself from an ongoing economic development investigation, citing political conflicts of interest.

South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Zach Crago called on Attorney General Marty Jackley to recuse himself from the investigation of financial misconduct at the Governor's Office of Economic Development.

"Attorney General Jackley told the Aberdeen American News on Sunday he has no conflict of interest investigating financial misconduct at the GOED during the Rounds-Daugaard Administration -- even though he has already cleared his political patron former Governor Mike Rounds as a target," Crago said.

Governor Mike Rounds appointed Marty Jackley as Attorney General in 2009.

Crago also questions the connection between one of Jackley's political benefactors and the investigation, arguing that the ties create a conflict of interest.

"Jackley's largest 2012 campaign contribution came from Harvey Jewett, a partner in the law firm that represents Joop Bollen, the individual who had his EB-5 contract terminated for cause," Crago said.

Jackley released a statement today defending his involvement in the investigation.

"Because the alleged financial misconduct did not relate to the Attorney General's Office there is no direct or indirect conflict of interest. Because the alleged individual financial misconduct did not relate to Mike Rounds, he is not a subject of the ongoing review," Jackley said.

In regard to the EB-5 program specifically, Jackley said that "there is no direct or indirect conflict of interest, because the Attorney General's Office was not involved in the draft, the review, nor the approval of said program or contracts."

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