DOC Secretary pulls out of prison opponents’ meeting after lawsuit

Published: Nov. 8, 2023 at 1:15 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Department of Corrections Secretary Kellie Wasko will no longer be meeting with opponents of the proposed men’s prison in Lincoln County.

Wasko and the group Neighbors Opposed to Prison Expansion (NOPE) were set to meet on Thursday night at The Canton Barn to discuss the project, but after a lawsuit was filed against the state by the group, Wasko has since pulled out.

On Wednesday, an attorney for the DOC informed the group in a letter obtained by Dakota News Now that since Wasko was listed as one of the defendants on the lawsuit, “an informational meeting is no longer possible.”

A.J. Swanson, an attorney that represents NOPE, responded to the letter saying there would still be a seat for Secretary Wasko at the public forum meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m., but “Whether the Secretary will be in that chair is completely her call, of course. If absent, however, I further suspect that her absence will speak much louder than mere words ever could.”

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