Senate passes bill to boost conflict-of-interest penalties
The state Senate has approved a bill targeting potential public corruption that would impose new criminal conflict-of-interest penalties for public officials.
The chamber voted unanimously Thursday to send the bill to the House. Republican Sen. Stace Nelson says officials who illegally use taxpayer money violate the public trust and should be held responsible.
Under the plan, officials who commit a conflict-of-interest offense would be guilty of theft, which is a felony when its value exceeds $1,000. The current self-dealing penalty is a misdemeanor.
Attorney General Marty Jackley proposed the bill.
He has said the proposal was in part motivated by recent high-profile scandals that have resulted in deaths, including alleged theft and an attempted cover-up at a Platte-based educational cooperative and what authorities have called financial misconduct involving the EB-5 visa program.
- South Dakota
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