Governor says no action will be taken against the Minnehaha County states attorney

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Gov. Kristi Noem says she will take no action against Minnehaha County’s top prosecutor despite an investigation that found he might have a drinking problem.

Noem asked the attorney general to investigate after Aaron McGowan was absent from work without explanation from mid-July through mid-September. She called Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s report “unsettling” but said it concluded there wasn’t evidence to pursue charges.

A woman who answered the phone in McGowan’s office said staff had been instructed not to take messages for him and that he would decide whether to comment after receiving the report.

McGowan has said he was on medical leave.

Some office employees told investigators of incidents involving McGowan and alcohol. Those included asking employees to bring alcohol to his house when he was at home during business hours. Employees also said McGowan sometimes asked them to take him to work because he was too drunk to drive.

Ravnsborg noted in his report that Noem could remove McGowan if he failed to perform his duties due to intoxication, but he cited three earlier cases where attempts to invoke the law failed.

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