Senator resigns, strikes deal to return state funds
Castleberry gets up to 30 years to pay back $499K under deal struck with Attorney General's Office
PIERRE – The South Dakota lawmaker whose business received more than $600,000 in government funds has stepped down from her post in the state Senate.
Sen. Jessica Castleberry of Rapid City informed The Dakota Scout Thursday after reaching an agreement with the state to repay a majority of the funds — a deal announced just minutes before by Attorney General Marty Jackley — she’s resigning her District 35 legislative seat — effective immediately.
“Today I formally resign from my position in the South Dakota Senate,” Castleberry said in a statement. “I was humbled to be appointed and honored to be elected. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the people of the state of South Dakota.”
Last month, Gov. Kristi Noem wrote a letter to the Attorney General’s Office, highlighting potential Constitutional violations by Castleberry when her Rapid City area daycare business took state funds following the Covid pandemic. That prompted the Attorney General issuing a demand to Castleberry that the funds be returned.