Ferebee fires back in spat over seat on county commission

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) -- Pennington County Commissioner George Ferebee fired back Wednesday at his fellow commissioners who sent him a letter demanding he resign from the panel.

Last week the commission moved to oust Ferebee from the county lawmaking board to which he was elected from District 1 in Hill City. The commission's letter and a law suit brought by Pennington County States' Attorney Mark Vargo came after Ferebee in August changed his voter registration to a Rapid City address.

State law mandates that if a commissioner moves out of his district the seat becomes vacant. Ferebee subsequently changed his registration back to his Hill City address.

On Wednesday Ferebee responded with a fiery letter from his attorney Shawn Tornow alleging that the commission's actions were politics pure and simple and were themselves unlawful. State law states that quote "any county voter registration file may be used or sold only for election purposes."

The commission attached Ferebee's voter registration forms to a commission meeting agenda packet. Ferebee's lawyer says his client will fight the challenge to his seat.

"This is really a wrongful politically-motivated attack on George and he's not going to stand for it," said Tornow. "He's going to continue to serve out his term through the end of the year and we'll pursue whatever remedies are available to us and we have contacted the attorney general's office about the potential violation of" sate law restricting the use of voter registration information.

County Commission Chair Lloyd LaCroix says the commission has already made its position clear by sending the original letter and says he doesn't plan on putting the issue on the agenda at the next meeting on Tuesday.

Ferebee lost his bid for re-election and his term ends in January.