South Dakota secretary of corrections announces retirement
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - South Dakota Secretary of Corrections Mike Leidholt announced his retirement Friday.
The retirement announcement comes after an anonymous complaint about working conditions spurred a state investigation of the prison and several firings of officials. The complaint laid out a number of grievances, including low pay, nepotism in promotions, and sexual harassment.
Dakota News Now I-Team Reporter Beth Warden first reported on the anonymous complaint and issues at the penitentiary in May.
A California company that has assessed a dozen state prison systems will review operations at the South Dakota Department of Corrections.
“I am grateful to Mike for his service to South Dakota and our Department of Corrections. While it is now clear the issues at the Penitentiary were the responsibility of others, I believe new leadership is needed to address the ongoing challenges in our prison system,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “I wish Mike well in his retirement after more than four decades of service in South Dakota law enforcement.”
Prior to his role in Noem’s cabinet, Leidholt spent forty-three years in law enforcement, including twenty-four years as sheriff of Hughes County. Mike is a past president of the South Dakota Sheriffs Association, the National Sheriffs Association, and the Dakota Territory Sheriff’s Association.
Tim Reisch will continue his role as interim secretary until a permanent replacement is announced.
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