Governor Dennis Daugaard is responding to remarks made recently by State Senator Stace Nelson who has been critical of the Government Operations and Audit Committee and Governor’s handling of the GEAR UP program investigation.  The Governor says he’s glad the Committee has moved on and is now looking at legislation to shore up the state’s auditing procedures.   He is critical though of some committee members, including Nelson, who want to be criminal investigators.  He says that job belongs to the Attorney General and States Attorneys. He says the legislators should be focused on policy rather than trying to find and assign blame.

The Governor says it’s important to remember that legislative policy should be developed with a view toward improving laws and regulations and not simply to demonstrate that, and we quote, “I’m getting something done.”

When asked about Nelson’s claims that the Governor was actively obstructing the GEAR UP investigation?

When asked if more state officials should testify before the committee, Governor Daugaard repeated his position saying the GOAC committee should examine the audits and that other agencies charged with enforcement should investigate any possible criminal activity. He made it clear he doesn’t want his state secretaries to be saddled with going to every meeting and testifying when they should be out doing their job.

Without naming Nelson specifically, Daugaard said there are some committee members who just like attention.