Attorney General Marty Jackley says he is pleased that the Senate Judiciary Committee has passed a Conflict of Interest bill, which is now on its way to the South Dakota Senate Floor.

If passed, the law would make any thefts by any public official in excess of $1000 a felony.  Currently the charge is considered a misdemeanor.

The suggestion of this law from the Attorney General's Office is due to recent investigations into misuse of funds.   Most recent misuse of South Dakota's money includes Scott Westerhuis and the ill fated Gear Up Program, and Joop Bollen's involvement in the EB-5 Investment for Visa Scandal.

Jackley says this bill is not intended to be the primary deterrent to those considering taking funds, but as a way to prosecute those who misuse state funds.

The measure passed unanimously.

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