Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg stated in a statement that "I have been contacted from concerned citizens and legislators." "I am currently reviewing their concerns, and I will follow the steps prescribed by codified law in relation these questions."
Ravnsborg did not immediately respond to questions about the next steps. State law gives the attorney general the responsibility of issuing legal opinions to legislators.
According to The Associated Press, Noem called the meeting after the state agency denied her daughter her license last year. Four months later, Noem's daughter received her license. Noem's cabinet secretary allegedly forced the state employee who managed the agency to retire. Sherry Bren, a state employee, was eventually paid $200,000 by the state in order to withdraw the complaint from her job and leave it.
Experts in ethics said that the governor's actions raised questions about the legitimacy of her office.
The governor's office refused to answer specific questions from the AP. Noem's spokesman also dismissed the AP report as a political attack against the governor.
Noem, who is 49, is one of a few early GOP hopefuls to the White House in 2024. After nearly a decade as a Congresswoman, her star has skyrocketed as she has spread a message of more liberty and less government. This was especially true during the coronavirus pandemic when she decried restrictions that were being placed elsewhere. Although Noem claims she is focused on 2022, she has visited the early presidential states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, and showed a willingness and ability to poke fun at potential rivals.
Ravnsborg, Noem and Noem are both Republicans. However, they have become political enemies in the past year. After Ravnsborg struck and killed a pedestrian on a highway in a car accident, the governor forced Ravnsborg to resign. Two misdemeanors were not committed by the attorney general in connection to the accident. The Legislature will meet in November to discuss whether or not to impeach Ravnsborg.
The Legislature's Democrats, which hold only a few seats, also demand an investigation into Governor Sarah Palin's conduct in her daughter's appraisal certification application.