South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s daughter said Tuesday she would quit the real estate appraiser business after considering whether her mother used her influence to help her apply for an appraiser’s license.
Noem’s daughter, Kassidy Peters, criticized a legislative inquiry and reporting on the episode in a letter to Labor Secretary Marcia Hultman. She also released a document that a legislative committee was seeking to subpoena. Lawmakers were focusing on the timing of a meeting Noem called last year that included Peters and key decision makers from a government agency that had decided days earlier to deny his request to upgrade his certification. of evaluator.
“I am writing to you today to express my disappointment and anger that my good name and professional standing continue to be damaged by questions and misinformation regarding the Appraiser Certification Program,” Peters wrote to Hultman in the letter, which was obtained by The Associated Press. KSFY first reported the contents of the letter.
She told Hultman she would return her appraiser’s license by the end of the year, adding “I’m angry and I can concede that this has succeeded in destroying my business.”
The Republican-dominated Government Operations and Audit Committee had asked for the document to confirm what Hultman had told them last month – that state regulators had already decided to give Peters another chance to get certified as an appraiser before the meeting in the governor’s mansion. Noem echoed that defense in a later press conference.
“The details of this agreement were discussed and put in place prior to this meeting,” Hultman told lawmakers at the October meeting.
But the agreement signed with Peters is dated the week after the July 27, 2020 meeting.
The governor’s office has sent a request for comment to the Department of Labor and Regulation. The department in turn released a letter from Hultman to lawmakers that criticized the AP for giving “the impression that I testified at the hearing that there was an agreement in place with Ms. Peters prior to the ‘hearing’.
Hultman wrote that an AP reporter created an “inaccurate and false account” and that she “never remotely gave the impression” during her testimony that the agreement was signed before the meeting .
The AP did not report that Hultman said the deal was signed before the meeting. She told lawmakers in October that state regulators had reached an agreement allowing Peters to continue his studies and resubmit work samples to review to check for compliance with federal standards.
Hultman also told lawmakers she assumed former appraiser certification program director Sherry Bren was part of the discussion to give Peters another opportunity to earn his license.
However, the deal with Peters was signed by another state employee, Amber Mulder, who was Bren’s supervisor. Mulder was also at the meeting with the governor last year.
On Wednesday, the committee was due to seek final approval of a pair of subpoenas from a ranking legislative committee. Hultman asked that the subpoena for Peters’ deal be dismissed.
In addition to pushing for the document released by Peters, the committee also wants to subpoena Bren.
The former program director was called into the July 2020 meeting and was later forced to retire shortly after Peters received her license in November. Bren filed an age discrimination complaint and received a $200,000 payment from the state to withdraw the complaint and quit his job this year. Noem said the settlement had nothing to do with his daughter.
You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are the source of the clarity of our reporters’ coverage across the state, the stories that connect us, and the conversations that offer insight. Help ensure that MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.
Make a donation today. A $17 donation makes a difference.