Campaign law violations alleged in Rapid City arena issue

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - A new allegation in the battle over whether Rapid City should build a new arena. Four former mayors say there may have been violations of state election law by the city and more specifically, current Mayor Steve Allender.

Former mayor Jim Shaw said they wanted the public to be aware of information that came to them from a private source. They say a source reports that there was a violation of state law that says an elected official or city may not permit using public funds for the purpose of influencing the adoption or defeat of any ballot issue.

They also say the mayor used the work product of consultants in campaign literature.

“City products that have been paid for by taxpayers money has been handed over to a campaign to be utilized,” Alan Hanks said. “This is about fairness folks. The one thing that we can all agree upon is that everyone needs to follow the rules but in this case it doesn't appear that the city felt or the mayor felt that they were obligated to do so."

Allender responded to the allegations.

“There are some contracts just under $50,000. There's three of them to be exact, three different consultants so no one consultant is making more than the 49 or whatever thousand dollars it is. Period,” Allender explained.

“When the city pays taxpayer money and they get a document, that document is public record. Anybody can request and see it and with these plans that they are talking about. I used the plans with the Vote Yes Campaign and I have them on my Facebook posts and whatever else, all of that's true because these are public documents," Allender said.