- Noem met an agency manager when his daughter was struggling to get a license, the AP reported.
- The girl eventually got her real estate appraisal license and the agency manager said she was forced to retire.
- It is not clear what happened at the meeting, and the governor and other officials deny the wrongdoing.
The governor of South Dakota called a meeting with the head of the state’s real estate appraiser certification program as his daughter struggled to get her license, the Associated Press reported.
Gov. Kristi Noem called agency chief Sherry Bren, Bren’s direct supervisor, and Secretary of State for Labor for a meeting on July 27, 2020, alongside her daughter, the AP reported.
The AP said it was not clear what was discussed at that meeting, but that it was conversations about how people were certified and that the fact that Noem’s daughter, Kassidy Peters , did not have his license.
The AP reported that Peters applied for his license in September 2019, but a letter dated July 27, 2020 showed that the assessor certification program decided to deny Peters’ license. The agency said this happens when someone’s work samples don’t meet the right standards.
Peters, who was then 26, got his license four months later, in November 2020, the AP reported.
Bren also said Secretary of State for Labor Marcia Hultman called her a week after the meeting to ask for her retirement, the AP reported. Bren made the allegation in an age discrimination lawsuit against the state labor department, the AP said.
Bren, 70, quit her job in March 2021, after the state of South Dakota paid her $ 200,000 to withdraw her complaint, the AP reported.
Insider has contacted the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation for comment.
Ian Fury, spokesperson for Noem, told Insider: “The Associated Press denigrates the governor’s daughter in order to politically attack the governor – no wonder Americans have low confidence in the media. South Dakota is open for business.
“We will not allow red tape to hamper South Dakota’s sustained economic growth. Having more quality appraisers on the market will help keep our housing market moving and house prices down.”
Noem tweeted on Monday, in response to the story, “Look, I get it. I signed up for this job. But now the media is trying to destroy my children. This story is just another example of the double standard. that exists with the media … going after the Conservatives and their children while ignoring the Liberals #AskTheBigGuy. “
—Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) September 27, 2021
Ethics experts told the AP that while the content of the meeting is not known, the fact that Noem’s daughter was present shows a conflict of interest.
Bren declined to give the AP more details about the meeting after speaking with his attorneys.
But she said she was shown a letter from Kristine Juelfs, who was Peters’ supervisor, who criticized Peter for not having his license yet.
“Last week I was informed that my intern, State Certified Appraiser Kassidy Peters, had been refused an upgrade to his license to a State Certified Residential Appraiser,” Juelfs wrote. . “It came as a shock to me as she represented the necessary knowledge and skills.”
Peters told the AP: “It took a very long time to upgrade to become a Certified Residential Appraiser and I was expected to overcome a lot of obstacles early on.”
Hultman, the Labor Secretary, declined to comment on the PA’s details, but said: “Kassidy Peters followed the same process as the other reviewers. There were no refusals, Ms. Peters met the conditions. to get a license, and then she was certified in November. “