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S.D. Democrats Call for Subpoenas of Rounds, Daugaard, Other State Leaders Regarding EB-5

(NPN) — South Dakota Democratic leaders today called on the legislative Government Operations and Audit Committee to issue numerous subpoenas to past and present high ranking Republican state officials and others in the so-called EB-5 Scandal.

State Rep. Bernie Hunhoff (D-Yankton), South Dakota House Minority Leader, calls for for the legislative Government Operations and Audit Committee to Subpoena Gov. Dennis Daugaard, former Gov. Mike Rounds, Joop Bollen, and a number of other state officials and others regarding the state’s EB-5 program. Hunhoff was joined by state Sen. Jason Frerichs, Rep. Kathy Tyler, Rep. Paula Hawks and Rep. Julie Bartling at the Sioux Falls Public Library Tuesday afternoon. Northern Plains News photo by Todd Epp, used with permission.

Rep. Bernie Hunhoff from Yankton gave his list at a news conference in Sioux Falls.

“Today I join my fellow legislators to call on Government Operations and Audit Committee to subpoena Mike Rounds, Dennis Daugaard, Joop Bollen, and other individuals involved in the EB-5 the program and our economic development efforts, including, I think, Aberdeen attorney Jeff Sveen, probably the state auditor, the state treasurer, top economic development officials, the list could go on and on,” Hunhoff said.

The Yankton Democrat and House Minority Leader says South Dakotans have a right to know what happened to funds the late Richard Benda is alleged to have taken and how the failed Northern Plains Beef plant in Aberdeen was funded with the federal visa program.

Hunhoff said the “crony capitalism” that the EB-5 scandal represents has been going on for a long time.

“These are really big issues that have gone back over a generation,” Hunhoff said. “There’s been alot of abuse and misuse of taxpayers’ money going on for a long, long time, opportunities for cronyism, a great attempt by state government to manipulate the market place.”

Hunhoff said he and the other Democratic leaders were disheartened to take the unusual step of calling for the subpoenas. He said, however, that politics can be a good thing when it is used to bring about change.

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