McGowan to resign as Minnehaha County State's Attorney

Courtesy of Aaron McGowan

Minnehaha County State's Attorney Aaron McGowan is stepping down following public scrutiny over his conduct on the job.

The Minnehaha County Commission is set to consider McGowan's resignation in its meeting Tuesday, according to the agenda's minutes.

McGowan's resignation will go in effect Friday, according to the agenda.

In an email to KSFY News, McGowan stated:

"I had a knee replacement surgery on October 18th. I developed a blood clot/hematoma which required an urgent surgery on November 1st. This condition was likely the result of me returning to work too soon after the initial replacement surgery. In fact, I went to Pierre for a five hour meeting just four days after the knee replacement. I was placed on weeks of bed rest in order to save my knee joint and keep my leg. Despite everything I’ve been through, the print media has been relentless and continues to harm me and my family.

Contrary to print media reports, I just obtained a life sentence on a child murderer on May 30th of this year. I’ve worked numerous weekends on homicide cases since then. The negative print media has been too much of a distraction for me to continue with my responsibilities as State’s Attorney. I’ve been honored to serve in this capacity for more than a decade! I’ve been privileged to work with our phenomenal Law Enforcement Officials! They truly are the best of the best and deserve our thanks and respect! My intent is to focus on my faith, family, and health needs. I don’t plan on doing any interviews until I feel better and complete my physical therapy."

In September, Gov. Kristi Noem ordered an investigation into McGowan following reports of extended absences from work. That investigation pointed to possible alcohol abuse, including reports of members of McGowan's staff sometimes driving him to work because he was too inebriated to drive. However, it did not find enough to charge McGowan.

McGowan later issued an apology to his family and colleagues regarding "personal struggles and medical issues" that recently impacted his performance. However, he said he disagreed with several portions of the report, which he said were "largely taken out of context or based upon unnamed sources of information."

McGowan was first elected as Minnehaha County State's Attorney in 2008.