Noem appoints new South Dakota Secretary of Corrections

Kellie Wasko
Kellie Wasko(State of South Dakota)
Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 9:59 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - South Dakota has a new Secretary of Corrections six months after the previous Secretary stepped down amid an investigation into misconduct.

Kellie Wasko will take over as Secretary of Corrections on March 7, Gov. Kristi Noem announced Wednesday.

Former Secretary Mike Leidholt retired last August as the Department of Corrections came under scrutiny following worker complaints of nepotism, low pay, and sexual harassment at the state penitentiary. He had been placed on administrative leave a month prior to his retirement announcement.

Wasko has worked in adult and juvenile corrections for over 22 years, according to a press release from Noem’s office. She currently serves as the CEO of Correctional Health Partners, a Colorado-based company that provides administrative and clinical services to the corrections industry. Prior to that, she served as the Deputy Executive Director for the Colorado Department of Corrections for six years.

Doug Clark, who is serving as Interim Secretary of Corrections, will return to his prior role as Deputy Secretary of Corrections.

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