News

State Was Investigating Benda At Time Of His Death

State Was Investigating Benda At Time Of His Death

Photo: KMIT 105.9, Kool 98.3

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota’s attorney general says he was ready to file charges and seek an indictment against the state’s former economic development director days before the man committed suicide last fall.

Marty Jackley briefed lawmakers Tuesday on his investigation into potential financial misconduct at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

That probe stemmed from allegations that former commissioner Richard Benda double-billed the state for three flights and redirected $550,000 in economic development money for his own use.

Jackley addressed members of the Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee in Pierre.

Lawmakers rejected a motion by Democratic Rep. Susan Wismer to subpoena Joop Bollen, who had been handling the state’s role in the federal EB-5 program.

Benda was found dead in October near Lake Andes with a fatal shotgun wound.

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