Head of SD Dept. of Public Safety to retire later this month
The head of South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety is retiring from state government.
Secretary Craig Price is leaving after just over a quarter century in law enforcement.
Price started his career as a highway patrol trooper, working his way through the Department of Public Safety to leading it.
Price was a key player in the House impeachment proceedings of former Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.
Last year, the Republican-led impeachment panel chastised Price and Gov. Kristi Noem’s for perceived interference in the criminal and impeachment processes.
Price’s Highway Patrol reconstructed the crash scene and were prohibited by the panel to give a full presentation of their investigation.
Ravnsborg was charged with three misdemeanors in the crash that took the life of a pedestrian. Price felt Ravnsborg should have been charged with second-degree manslaughter.
In January 2022 during impeachment proceedings, then-House Speaker Spencer Gosch questioned whether Price should have publicly disagreed with the charging decisions.
“It’s customary for law enforcement to gather facts, evidence, make recommendations to state’s attorneys and prosecutors on what they believe charges should be,” Price said. “It’s ultimately up to prosecutors. We respect that. We don’t ultimately always agree with it, but we respect it.”
“Do you feel it’s adequate for the investigators to issue an opinion disagreeing with the prosecutor in a manslaughter case that could potentially taint a jury?” Gosch asked.
“I was not concerned about class two misdemeanors going to a jury trial,” Price said.
Ravnsborg was narrowly impeached in the House and ultimately removed by the state Senate.
Secretary Price’s last day is Sept. 22, 2023.
Noem is appointing Robert Perry to replace the cabinet secretary. Perry is an FBI Special Agent who has spent time in Pierre.