More from the Argus on the open/closed session issue
If a vote were held tomorrow on whether to close the proceedings, it's unclear which side would prevail.So, here's an update on the rundown from yesterday:
Olson says he wants it closed because of his relationships with the page, the page's father and Sutton.
"I'm just really sensitive because I'm closer to it than most," he said. "Because of my connection to those folks, I don't want a circus."
Sen. Gene Abdallah, R-Sioux Falls, said all meetings should be open unless they involve a personnel issue. In this case, he has mixed emotions. Witnesses could face humiliation in a public session, but, he added, many, if not all, of the players already are known in the public.
"Right now, I would come down on the side of a closed hearing until the facts are known," he said.
Following Olson's remarks earlier this week, several senators stepped forward to say that they would oppose efforts to close the session.
Sen. Jason Gant, R-Sioux Falls, is one. Gant said the session should be open because the allegation doesn't involve a minor.
"This is government," he said. "The people are the government. There is nothing here that is top secret, confidential or would hurt the state."
Sen. Bob Gray, R-Fort Pierre, maintains that because the alleged victim is 18, the proceedings should be open, just as a criminal trial would be.
"I certainly think it should be out in the open," Gray said. "We're a public body."
Sen. Bill Earley, R-Sioux Falls, said his first thought on the session was that it should be confidential. But after thinking about the issues at stake, he supports meeting in open.
Sen. Dave Knudson, a Sioux Falls Republican, said he's adamant that it be open. Knudson notes that court sessions typically are open to the public.
"The public is entitled to understand why an action is taken, if an action is taken," he said.Read it all here.