Gov. Noem announces streamlined process for appraiser certification amid controversy

FILE - In this July 16, 2021, file photo, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks during the...
FILE - In this July 16, 2021, file photo, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks during the Family Leadership Summit in Des Moines, Iowa. South Dakota Republican and Democratic legislators alike said Wednesday, Sept. 29, they want more details from Noem's administration on a meeting last year that included the governor, her daughter and state employees overseeing an agency that had moved to deny her daughter's application to become a certified real estate appraiser.(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 2:05 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem says her administration has “streamlined” the process of becoming an appraiser in the state.

Friday’s announcement comes after a closed-door meeting with her daughter, Kassidy Peters, and state labor and real estate officials as Peters was pursuing a real estate certification came to light by the Associated Press, prompting ethics questions.

MORE: Noem’s meeting highlights real estate appraisal regulations in South Dakota

The administrator for appraisal testing and regulations, Sherry Bren, was in that meeting. Bren says she was later forced to resign and paid $200,000 to withdraw an age discrimination complaint she had filed against the South Dakota Department of Labor.

Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg says he has been contacted by “concerned state legislators” and that he’s reviewing their concerns. Meanwhile, a number of lawmakers have spoken on background indicating their support to proceed with some sort of investigation into what happened.

MORE: National watchdog organizations to local ethics professors weigh in on alleged nepotism in South Dakota

Gov. Noem released a statement and video Friday “laying out the facts” in relation to the meeting in question and the state’s appraiser certification process.

Noem says the state’s appraiser certification process has been “broken for decades” and that her administration is working to fix it.

The state requires all appraisers to undergo training, log their experience, meet the criteria of credit hours, and successfully complete a pass/fail exam. The exam is created on a federal level. While most states have a board to oversee certifications, South Dakota is among just a few states that have only an administrator.

Now, state-registered appraisers no longer have to take an exam before they can begin their training, according to Noem. Noem says her administration is looking to streamline more processes.

This is a developing story.

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