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Top lawmakers frustrated with staff retention get resignation from legislative director
Holwegner out as director of Legislative Research Council
PIERRE — The man who oversees day-to-day operations of the South Dakota Legislature has been let go.
Legislative Research Council (LRC) Director Reed Holwegner has stepped down amid concerns about staff retention and office morale in the non-partisan office that provides year-round research, drafting, and support services for state lawmakers.
That’s according to multiple sources familiar with the situation who spoke to The Dakota Scout Monday.
The resignation, requested by the Legislature’s Executive Board, was submitted and accepted Monday during a previously unscheduled, closed-door session of legislative leaders in Pierre. No other items other than the executive session were listed on the Executive Board’s meeting agenda.
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Both House Speaker Hugh Bartels and Senate President Pro Tempore Lee Schoenbeck declined to comment when contacted by The Dakota Scout, or address questions about the timeline for finding a permanent replacement for Holwegner with the 99th South Dakota Legislative Session set to begin in early January.
In the interim, the LRC’s chief research and legal analyst, John McCullough, will lead the office.
Holwegner’s departure comes more than three years after being hired as LRC director, which came on a narrow 8-7 vote of the Executive Board. His tenure included historic firsts for the state Legislature, including the body’s first-ever impeachment proceedings, a workplace misconduct probe that led to the censure of a state senator and multiple special sessions.
Prior to his 2020 hiring, he served as the principal policy analyst for the Kansas Legislative Research Department, and he’d previously been the chief fiscal analyst for the LRC in Pierre.
A motion to accept Holwegner’s resignation did not receive any dissenting votes.