FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Aug.17, 2023
Contact: Tony Mangan, Communications Director, 605-773-6878
Attorney General Jackley Announces Settlement
With Sen. Castleberry on Restitution Of State Funds
PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announces an agreement has been reached with State Senator Jessica Castleberry to pay back more than $499,000 in COVID funds which she received for her preschool daycare centers in Rapid City.
On July 25, Governor Kristi Noem requested that the Attorney General’s Office investigate possible constitutional and statutory violations committed by Senator Castleberry in receiving more than $600,000 in COVID funds. The funds were approved and paid by the State Department of Social Services.
In a July 26 letter to Senator Castleberry, Attorney General Jackley wrote that the State Supreme Court has ruled that the State Constitution prohibits state legislators from receiving such funds and requested that the Senator repay the funds. Further investigation ensued and a repayment settlement with the Senator has been reached.
Attorney General Jackley’s full statement:
“Our State Constitution prohibits a state legislator from receiving funds he or she is responsible for overseeing. The Attorney General’s investigation has determined that $499,129.79 were inappropriately received by Senator Castleberry and a repayment plan for those taxpayer funds has been established. The investigation further determined that an additional $104,100, that has not been included, passed through directly to qualified needy families and their children, and not to the benefit of Senator Castleberry. The investigation did not reveal any abuse in Senator Castleberry’s expenditure of the $603,229.79 in funds, and all funds were spent for DSS approved purposes. I would like to further thank the Governor’s Office and Senator Castleberry for their cooperation during this investigation.”
A copy of the agreement between the Attorney General’s Office and Sen. Castleberry can be found here.