South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem's (R) daughter has decided to quit the real estate appraisal business amid speculation of conflict of interest.
In a letter to South Dakota Secretary of Labor Marcia Hultman, which has been obtained by The Associated Press, Noem's daughter Kassidy Peters criticized a legislative inquiry into her application and the news reports detailing the situation. According to U.S. News, lawmakers were focused on the timeline of the Republican governor's meeting with her daughter and top officials within the government agency; the same decision-makers who played a role in denying Peters' application days earlier.
"I am writing you today to express my disappointment and anger that my good name and professional reputation continue to be damaged by questions and misinformation concerning the Appraiser Certification Program," Peters wrote to Hultman in the letter.
She also agreed to surrender her appraiser's license by the end of the year. "I'm angry and I can acknowledge that this has successfully destroyed my business," she added.
Peters' decision follows a document request from the state's Republican-led Government Operations and Audit Committee. The committee requested confirmation of Hultman's claims insisting "that state regulators had already decided to give Peters another chance to win her appraiser certification prior to the meeting in the governor's mansion."
"The details of that agreement were discussed and in place prior to that meeting," Hultman told lawmakers during a meeting back in October. However, the signed agreement conflicts with the claim about the timing of the meeting due to its date: "after the July 27, 2020, meeting."
Around this time, after Peters' initial license application was denied, Sherry Bren —the former director of the Appraiser Certification Program— was also pressured into retirement. Months later, Peters received her license and Bren filed a discrimination lawsuit. The state ended up paying her a $200,000 settlement.