SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem late Tuesday suspended her cabinet secretary overseeing state prisons and the warden of the state penitentiary in Sioux Falls, following an anonymous complaint that alleged supervising corrections officers regularly sexually harassed their fellow employees, employee morale is low and promotions are plagued by nepotism.
The governor said she was briefed around 7 p.m. on an internal review from the Bureau of Human Resources that was prompted by the anonymous complaint. Less than three hours later, Noem said she was putting Secretary of Corrections Mike Leidholt and State Penitentiary Warden Darin Young on administrative leave and commissioning an investigation into the allegations.
The two pages of the complaint released by Noem’s office do not name either Leidholt or Young, but allege that supervising corrections officers at the prison were allowed to sexually harass employees and that attempts to report the harassment were ignored. The complaint states that schedules at the prison were adjusted so that the officers could “work in the same vicinities as their interest/victims.” It also alleges that employees who did not give in to the harassment were made to ”suffer by being placed in less desirable posts or something of the sort.”