Governor of South Dakota. Christy Noam He refused to intervene to obtain a real estate appraisal license for his daughter, Cassidy Peters, according to the Associated Press.
In a video posted on YouTube, Naeem said, “I never once asked for special treatment for Cassidy.” She is my daughter and I am proud of her. I brought it up on my own.
In July 2020, Noam met with Peters and a state employee who was overseeing his daughter’s request. Peters was denied a license by the Department of Labor and Regulation before the meeting. However, according to the department, Peters received his certification as a resident assessor four months later in November 2020.
Noam did not mention the July 2020 meeting in his office or the agency indicated it would deny the license in a video released Friday. Noam insisted that Peters, like other assessors, had met the requirements, studied 200 hours of classroom and gained more than 1,500 hours of experience over a year.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
A week after Peters received his license, the state employee who directed the agency was reportedly pressured to retire by Noam’s cabinet secretary. State employee Sherry Brain eventually received a 200,000 payment from the state to withdraw her age discrimination complaint and quit her job.
The state’s attorney general, as well as Republican and Democratic lawmakers, are watching.
Until the video, Naeem had issued limited statements about the meeting, calling the AP’s report a political attack and insisting she did not seek special treatment for her daughter.
The Department of Labor and Regulation has rejected a request for records from the AP for agreements between the agency and Peters, which will shed light on how Peters’ application proceeds and whether its work samples meet federal standards. Are fulfilled
Although the department acknowledged the records were open to the public, the agency’s attorney argued they were exempt. An appeals office later ruled that the department’s record was correct.
However, Brad Johnson, a Watertown analyst, was outraged by the department’s decision to withhold the documents.
“Any assessor thinks that anything we sign with the state of South Dakota can be public,” he said.
Naeem, 49, created speculation about a possible bid for the 2024 presidential election by forming a federal political action committee, helping with campaigns across the country and attending several events like other potential GOP candidates.
Although Noam has said he is focused on re-election in 2022 and has not publicly indicated that he intends to bid for the White House, And has visited South Carolina and agreed. Potential competitor
In a statement released Friday with the video, the governor’s office said the lack of assessors was a nationwide problem that had grown in South Dakota due to barriers to obtaining certification. In the video, the governor said that since his daughter’s certification, he has “made changes to make the process smoother for the future.” The certification program no longer requires people to obtain an entry-level license to take the exam.
“My administration started fixing the process and it was very difficult,” he said. “Assessors were not getting a certificate and South Dakota had to wait longer to buy a home than other states.”
However, the governor’s ability to change the program is limited because the state must meet federal standards for assessor verification.
In its statement, the governor’s office included references from three real estate professionals who praised Naeem’s move.
“It’s very difficult for young people to get into this field,” said Brian Gatesky, a Brookings analyst.
However, Johnson, who made the assessment from Watertown, said the governor’s “apparent interference” in his daughter’s licensing had upset other assessors in the state. Federal regulators are auditing the certification program, fearing that if they see an error, it could affect everyone in South Dakota’s appraiser license.
“Anything that is not valid in our appraiser certification program casts a black eye on the industry and we do not appreciate it,” he said.