South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Zach Crago is calling on Attorney General Marty Jackley to recuse himself and his office from investigating financial misconduct at the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED).
"Attorney General Jackley told the Aberdeen American News on Sunday he has no conflict of interest investigating financial misconduct at the GOED during the Rounds-Daugaard Administration - even though he has already cleared his political patron former Governor Mike Rounds as a target," said Crago. Governor Mike Rounds appointed Marty Jackley as Attorney General in 2009.
"The Rounds-Daugaard Administration granted the lucrative EB-5 contract to SDRC President Joop Bollen," said Crago. "It simply defies belief that a real investigation would not look into the circumstances surrounding that decision."
That Jackley has already exonerated the Governor who appointed him before a thorough investigation could be completed isn't the only conflict of interest either, Crago said.
"Clearly, Jackley's ties to his political patron and benefactor present conflicts of interest that preclude Jackley from fairly investigating financial misconduct at the GOED. That's why we're calling on Jackley to recuse himself and the Attorney General's Office from this matter immediately," concluded Crago.
AG Jackley's further statement on the Governor's Office of Economic Development:
This spring the Governor requested the Attorney General to review alleged individual financial misconduct in the Governor's Office of Economic Development. Because the alleged financial misconduct did not relate to the Attorney General's Office there is no direct or indirect conflict of interest. Because the alleged individual financial misconduct did not relate to Mike Rounds, he is not a subject of the ongoing review.
The EB5 program is a federal immigration program run and controlled by federal immigration authorities. While state authorities should have the ability and the opportunity to assist our federal partners in the enforcement of immigration law and programs, I respect that the United States Supreme Court has significantly limited state authority over federal immigration law. See Arizona v. United States, 267 U.S. _____ (2012)(SD Amicus Curiae in support of state authorities). Accordingly, the United States Attorney and the Department of Justice have primary authority over federal immigration law and the EB5 program. To the extent federal authorities request assistance from the Attorney General there is no direct or indirect conflict of interest, because the Attorney General's Office was not involved in the drafting, the review, nor the approval of said program or contracts.