No charges for Gov. Kristi Noem’s airplane use, South Dakota prosecutor announces
No charges will be brought against South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s pilot in a 2010 airplane crash, the state’s prosecutor said.
The statement from a state prosecutor came less than a day after a judge in the case announced that the state had agreed to dismiss most of the claims against the governor and her husband, Bruce Noem, a physician who did not fly his wife to the medical conference in Milwaukee in February, where she died from complications due to the crash. The Noems are suspected in the death of Kristi Noem.
The Noem plane crashed into a pasture near Osceola, S.D., and the pilot ejected unhurt from the aircraft. The Noem family and Bruce Noem’s defense attorneys were still awaiting the medical examiner’s report on Kristi Noem’s condition before issuing a statement about the agreement reached late Wednesday near the end of the day. A spokesman for the governor did not immediately return requests for comment Friday.
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said at a press conference Wednesday evening that the Noem family was “pleased” the case was being dismissed.
“We have not reached any decision on whether or not we will bring any criminal charges, either at the state level or at the federal level,” he said. “We can say with full certainty that the Noem family is very happy to have this case closed and relieved that they no longer have any concern about what they did with respect to the flight of Governor Noem and Bruce Noem to Madison.”
The Noem family will have to file its own suit against Bruce Noem’s estate.
State prosecutors say the Noem family did not have the FAA’s permission to fly in a private airplane on the day of the crash.
Bruce Noem was sworn in as the state’s governor at a ceremony Wednesday in Madison. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The Noems were in Milwaukee for the annual Conference for Women, which included an event hosted by the South Dakota Women’s Coalition.
Investigators say they can’t yet explain why the Noem family chose to fly on Feb. 11, 2010, between the conference and a medical meeting in Madison. Kristi Noem died Jan. 3,