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Crime & Courts

Two SD law enforcement officers lose certifications, another is suspended

Police car
Pixabay

Three South Dakota law enforcement officers have had their certifications revoked or suspended after complaints that they sexually harassed a woman, lied to officials, bought steroids, and berated a cooperative driver.

The Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training Commission ruled during a Nov. 9 and 10 meeting that the officers "engaged in conduct unbecoming of a law enforcement officer."

The commission revoked the certifications of Justin Mowery and James Daggett, which means they can no longer serve as a law enforcement officer within the state. It suspended Casey Urrutia's certification for 60 days.

None of them are facing criminal charges, court records show.

Dagget most recently served as the Hermosa Town Marshal. He previously served as the sheriff of Oglala Lakota County — called Shannon County at the time — before being fired for alleged misconduct.

Daggett told SDPB that he retired on Nov. 12 and declined to comment on his revocation.

The longtime lawman "was untruthful" with a professional standards investigator during an August 2021 investigation, according to his complaint.

The investigation was about Daggett being accused of inappropriate sexual conduct with a store clerk, according to commission member Steve Allender.

Allender, the Rapid City mayor and the former police chief, said surveillance video captured Daggett making inappropriate statements and trying to grab the woman.

Daggett was not honest with the investigator and gave "different stories" to the commission, Allender said. The commission heard from other witnesses who backed up the allegation.

Allender said the commission revoked Dagget's certification due to the initial incident and his statements to the investigator and commission.

Justin Mowery, a former officer with the Spearfish Police Department, illegally purchased steroids in 2020, according to his complaint.

He also falsely reported to law enforcement and his insurance company in 2016 that he accidentally crashed his father's car. In reality, Mowery had purposely driven the vehicle into a tree.

Mowery was fired soon after the commission meeting, according to the Spearfish police chief.

Casey Urrutia, chief deputy at the McCook County Sheriff's Office, was suspended for a July 2021 incident when he pulled over a driver who had been speeding, driving over a curb, and doing a burn-out.

The driver was intoxicated but respectful and cooperative, the complaint says. Urrutia responded by swearing at the driver and forcefully grabbing the driver's arm. He also "constantly yelled and berated the driver."

Urrutia must complete 28 hours of de-escalation training within the next six months, Bormann said.

The commission also denied a reciprocity application from Jared Hovdesven.

Hovdesven has been charged with or convicted of multiple crimes between 2008 and 2017. The man failed to list some of his arrests — which includes domestic violence, drugs, and threatening a law enforcement officer — on his application.

Southeast Technical College has listed Hovdesven as a student in its law enforcement services program. Completing that program allows students to apply for reciprocity through the commission.

The commission voted to allow a woman to apply to become a 911 operator after she was convicted of grand theft in 2011 and successfully completed probation.