Noem suspends 2 prison heads following harassment complaint

South Dakota News

FILE – In this Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, file photo, Darin Young, warden of the South Dakota State Penitentiary, walks through the prison’s Pheasantland Industries shop where inmates craft children’s toys and furniture in Sioux Falls, S.D. Late Tuesday, July 13, 2021, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem suspended her cabinet secretary overseeing the state’s prisons, as well as Young, following an anonymous complaint that alleged supervising corrections officers regularly sexually harassed their fellow employees, low employee morale and nepotism in promotions. (AP Photo/Dirk Lammers, File)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has suspended her Cabinet secretary overseeing state prisons and the warden of the state penitentiary in Sioux Falls after an anonymous complaint.

The complaint alleges supervising corrections officers regularly sexually harassed their fellow employees, employee morale is low and promotions are plagued by nepotism.

The governor put Secretary of Corrections Mike Leidholt and State Penitentiary Warden Darin Young on administrative leave.

The two pages of the complaint released by Noem’s office allege that supervising corrections officers were allowed to sexually harass prison employees and that attempts to report the harassment were ignored.

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