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Governor Daugaard: State Must Learn From Gear-UP


Governor Dennis Daugaard says the state needs to examine the Gear Up scandal and learn how to avoid similar situations in the future.   

Shortly after the state terminated its relationship with administrating organization, the Mid-Central Education Cooperative, an employee at the program killed himself and his family.  

 Daugaard says the state needs to do a better job ensuring that outside agencies it does business with are adhering to ethical practices.

He made the statements on today’s Dakota Midday. 

Governor Dennis Daugaard says the Mid Central Education Co-Op is an agency outside direct State Government oversight.    Daugaard says employees at Mid Central weren’t following normal ethical guidelines.

“Some of the members of Mid-Central, Scott Westerhuis the man who killed his family and himself created these outside entities and then he benefited not only as an employee of Mid-Central but he hired himself.   Well, that’s ridiculous, that’s a conflict of interest.  And, we need to do a better job of making sure as a state that we’re not only supervising our own employees but we’re looking into the practices of those people with whom we do business,” says Daugaard.

Daugaard says state officials hadn’t found any major wrongdoing but terminated the contract with Mid Central after the organization failed to meet standard accounting practices.  Daugaard says like many others he is waiting for the outcome of ongoing investigations.

 “Ultimately, the people who are being investigated and the financial records of those people they should come to light.  They should come to light,” says Daugaard.

State officials are now investigating and say they will follow the money wherever it leads.

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