Audit: Benda helped increase beef plant grant - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Audit: Benda helped increase beef plant grant

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A state audit has found that South Dakota's former economic development director used his public position to help his future private employer get a bigger grant for a struggling beef processing plant.

The audit released Thursday found that Richard Benda was working out a new job with SDRC Inc. in 2010 while still leading the Department of Tourism and State Development.

SDRC recruited foreign investors for the Northern Beef Packers plant in Aberdeen.

Benda was on his way out the door when he amended two grant agreements to give Northern Beef an additional $600,000 in state money.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard's spokesman, Tony Venhuizen, says the additional funds were never allocated to Northern Beef. 

Benda was found dead Oct. 22 with a fatal shotgun wound. His death was ruled a suicide.



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