Behind the curve about a day or so, the Associated Press weighs in on the Sutton allegations
The attorney general and state Senate leaders are investigating allegations of possible sexual misconduct involving a state lawmaker and an 18-year-old legislative page.Read it all here at the Aberdeen American News' website.
The father of the former page, believed to be a male, has accused Sen. Dan Sutton, D-Flandreau, of misconduct during the last legislative session, said Senate Democratic Leader Garry Moore of Yankton.
Moore and other officials would not discuss specifics of the allegation.
Sutton, who served one term in the state House and is finishing a third term in the Senate, did not return messages left Wednesday at his work and home.
His attorney, Mike Butler of Sioux Falls, said at a news conference that the accusations are an attempt to publicly destroy Sutton.
Butler said an investigator for the state Division of Criminal Investigation contacted Sutton during the legislative session last spring. Butler said he advised Sutton not to make a statement at the time because investigators made no specific accusations.
According to Sioux Falls television station KSFY, the Stanley County state's attorney said the investigation focused on an alleged incident at a Fort Pierre motel.and..
South Dakota Senate President Pro Tem Lee Schoenbeck, R-Watertown, confirmed Wednesday that Sutton is the target of both a criminal and state Senate investigation involving an 18-year-old legislative page.
"As the presiding officer of the Senate, I got a complaint from parents of a page about a senator's conduct towards that page of a sexual nature during the session, and we take those things serious," Schoenbeck said.
"When a formal complaint like that's made, two things are going to happen. The person accused is going to be entitled to a hearing, if they want one, and we're going to take the complaint seriously. We're going to investigate it. It's going to run its course, whatever in the end that is.
"The senators feel very strongly about the page program, and any allegation of any improper conduct towards a page is going to be investigated and dealt with."
Schoenbeck said the allegations against Sutton have been the subject of a criminal investigation for months.