Jackley says State Senator must returns thousands in COVID funds

Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 6:58 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley sent a letter to State Senator Jessica Castleberry of Rapid City demanding the return of over $603,000 in federal COVID stimulus money. The letter says Castleberry received the money for her business, Little Nest Preschool, but says she is ineligible to receive those funds.

The letter says the Supreme Court has expressly forbidden such payments to legislators and asks for payment in full. Jackley adds if payment is not made or an agreement reached by August 7th. they will pursue the matter in court.

In a statement, Castleberry says, “Prior to applying for any grant monies, I hired independent legal counsel to give an opinion as to whether my company would be eligible to receive the funding under the federal grant which provided the funds to the state. After consulting with legal counsel, I believed my company was eligible. On several occasions, I communicated directly and transparently with DSS staff regarding grant applications.” Castleberry says she is committed to resolving the issue with the state and will work to ensure she acted in compliance with the State Constitution.