SIOUX FALLS, SD – The daughter of South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem said on Tuesday that she would be leaving the real estate appraisal business after considering whether her mother had used her influence to facilitate her application 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 sought to subpoena. Lawmakers were focused on the timeline of a meeting Noem called last year that included Peters and key decision makers from a government agency that had moved days earlier to deny his request to upgrade his certification d ‘evaluator.
“I am writing to you today to express my disappointment and anger that my good reputation and professional reputation 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 that she would surrender her appraiser license by the end of the year, adding “I’m angry and can recognize that this has destroyed my successful business.”
The Republicans-dominated government operations and audit committee had asked the document to confirm what Hultman told them last month – that state regulators had already decided to give Peters another shot at get their appraiser certification before the meeting in the governor’s mansion. Noem echoed this defense at a subsequent press conference.
“The details of this deal were discussed and put in place ahead of this meeting,” Hultman told lawmakers at the October meeting.
But the deal signed with Peters is dated the week following the July 27, 2020 meeting.
The governor’s office referred a request for comment to the Ministry of Labor and Regulation. The department in turn issued a letter from Hultman to lawmakers accusing the PA of giving “the impression that I testified at the hearing that there was an agreement in place with Ms Peters prior to the ‘audience’.
Hultman wrote that an AP reporter created an “inaccurate and false account” and that she “never remotely gave the impression” when testifying that the deal had been 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 to allow Peters to continue his education and resubmit work samples for review for compliance with federal standards.
Hultman also told lawmakers she assumed the former director of the appraiser certification program, 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 government employee, Amber Mulder, who was Bren’s supervisor. Mulder was also at the meeting with the governor last year.
The committee was due to seek final approval for a pair of subpoenas from a legislative filing committee on Wednesday. Hultman asked that the subpoena for Peters’ deal be dismissed.
In addition to pushing for the document Peters released, the committee also wants to subpoena Bren.
The former program director was summoned to the July 2020 meeting and was then forced to retire shortly after Peters received his license in November. Bren filed an age discrimination complaint and received a payment of $ 200,000 from the state to withdraw the complaint and quit her job this year. Noem said the settlement had nothing to do with his daughter.