The plot thickens.... Flandreau to sue Ridgefield

One of the most convoluted stories in South Dakota history just had another twist added to it. The Argus Leader is reporting that the Flandreau Development Corp is taking legal action against Ridgefield farms to get their $850,000 back:
An attorney for the Flandreau Development Corp. has told the Argus Leader
he will file a lawsuit against Ridgefield Farms, stating the company defaulted
on a promissory note and broke other agreements.

The complaint, to be filed by Madison attorney Wilson Kleibacker, seeks to
recover the $850,000 loan from Flandreau Development Corp. to Ridgefield Farms.
The suit also seeks payment of interest on the loan and the recovery of court

It is unclear how much of the $850,000 has been spent, or what it has been
spent on.“The promissory note was breached and the (Development Corp.) felt
obligation to do what they could to recover the note,” Kleibacker said. “It
appears that some misrepresentations have been made to the board to induce them
to enter the agreement.”

Read it all here. Why is this so convoluted? This tale involves Senator Dan Sutton (on the FDC side) and Dennis Wiese (on the Ridgefield side) which pre-dates the alleged conduct which has Senator Sutton facing a rules violation in the Senate.

And this also involves some of what Senator Frank Kloucek was alleging in his recent e-mail flap.

Don't forget that Ridgefield nearly had a deal in place in Huron before they pulled up roots and took their development deal across the state.

There may be more said on this before it's all over.


Anonymous said…
Frank K. might be on to something here. He was/is a Farmers Union insider and has many unanswered questions about Ridgefield and its finances.

To his credit he has been talking about this trainwreck long before it was a trainwreck. The only problem is that too many people can't or refuse to see past Frank's rumpled suit, seed corn hat, and disposable camera and dismiss him as a kook.

Frank might appear to do some nutty things but there is a method to the madness. MSM reporters and bloggers trying to scoop the MSM would do well to listen to this humble hog farmer he might just know where the bodies are buried or at least where to begin digging.
Anonymous said…
Perhaps real information would be beneficial for Mr. Nemec, and the rest of the Kloucek apologists out there. For one thing Frank missed several meetings and votes on the Ridefield investment (SDFU board minutes), second it is my understanding that the the Flandreau development board was working with Farmers Union industries to figure a way out of this mess together, until Frank launched his Larry Long bomb to distract people from his hate filled email to Scott Heidepriem.

The answers were always there, Frank chose to ignore them so that he could have an issue to go after Dennis Wiese on, he has manipulated information that the board recieved in confidence to bolster his own political fortunes.

Yes Mr Nemec, I do see past the rumpled suit, seed corn hat, and disposable camera. I see the manipulative, venom spewing, and anything for Frank attitiude that is Frank Kloucek.

If Frank cared so much for Farmers Union, as he claims, he would have attended all of the meetings. If you want to believe Frank and his baseless claims, then you have to believe that the other members of the SDFU board of directors are crooks as well. Does that make sense to you?
Anonymous said…
Welcome to the War College, Mr. Wiese...

All knew the ridgefield deal was a mistake waiting to never happen. After Huron and its people took their money off the table, resigned from the board, all of the FDC should be sued for incompetence. Wish and a prayer is not a business stategy. And yes, PP, this isn't the end. There is fraud all over this stinky mess.
Anonymous said…
Senator Kloucek preys upon ignorance and biases to create and promote an illusion of corruption with anyone he disagrees with. He does this in Pierre against Governor Janklow and against Governor Rounds, he does this against his fellow Democrat legislators (as evidenced by his idiotic email), he does this against the leadership of Farmers Union, he does this against anyone he targets for misery on the Board of Directors.

It's one of the oldest tricks in the book. He doesn't need facts. He just asks leading, insulting questions that imply corruption, just as he did with the crap he's now feeding to the press disguised as a complaint to Attorney General Larry Long.

The allegations he's making in December are the same ones he more than a year ago and were found to be bogus. They will be found bogus again, but only after Kloucek ruins the good names and reputations of a lot of well-meaning people in Farmers Union and outside the organization.

Friend of Farmers Union was correct in saying Kloucek skipped out on board discussions over Ridgefield. That gives him political cover to say he is ignorant of the details of the plans, but not enough to stop him from spinning rumors to people to cut the legs out from under the project, using his credentials as a board member and a state senator with 17 years in office to make his statements appear credible.

As they say, any coward can get a reaction by yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. If Mr. Nemec understood the truth of how Kloucek operates and manipulates, he would not be quite so charitable in his description of him. He is right about one thing, there is a method to Kloucek's actions.
Anonymous said…
Weren't you aware that you had to offer free food to get Frank to come to the meetings!!!
Anonymous said…
What's so funny about Sen. Kloucek's email is that he takes none of his insulting remarks back but he tells people he's sorry. Now that he's got a lawyer, he also wants you to believe he's a victim.

Humble hog farmer? Hogwash.

What I find interesting is he's paying a lawyer to get back on the Farmers Union board of directors where they gave him the boot because he constantly undermines them. This time they had the evidence to throw him out on his face. No more free trips and free food for Frankie on Farmers Union's dime. He only has lobbyists and receptions in Pierre to feed his gluttony for handouts.

If only Sen. Kloucek would put his smarts and craftiness to work to earn a decent living for his family. Better yet he ought to put some of his manic effort in learning how to spell and operate his computer.
Anonymous said…
"MSM would do well to listen to this humble hog farmer he might just know where the bodies are buried or at least where to begin digging."

Why don't you call Frank and have him tell you exactly where the bodies are buried and then share it with us? Don't accept his poisoned questions, third party hearsay and innuendos as answers. Get documented facts - not more of his uncorroborated bullshit.
Frank says there were violations of laws but won't supply the evidence. Why? Because the evidence does not exist. Why? Because there were no violations. Only an honest attempt to add wealth to cattle farming but sadly undermined by hard luck and the incompetence of a few individuals in Ridgefield and in Pierre. The venture failed despite sincere attempts to make it work. Now groups like Flandreau Dev. Corp. and Farmer's Union want to figure out how to get all or part of their money back. Frank's bullshit just fogs the air and makes it more difficult for the sincere parties to make some tough decisions.
But just for kicks Nicholas get the straight stuff out of Frank. Get verifiable information. When he fails to deliver as he always does then stop defending his childish games. Just because you're a good Democrat on the Dem. Nat. Comm. doesn't mean you have to defend him for the good of the party.
Its time for Frank to put up or get thrown out.
Anonymous said…
Anon 11:55, you say that Ridgefield was "undermined by hardluck and the incompetence of a few individuals in Ridgefield and Pierre". Would you care to name names?

I'm not trying to be a smart alec. I just want to know what went wrong. You sound as though you know alot more about it than I do.

If you don't want to talk about it in this public forum then e-mail me. mnemec at
Anonymous said…
anon 11:04 et al;

I'm not going to discuss the merits of Frank Kloucek's concerns about Ridgefield Farms and SDFU's investments therein or about Frank in this forum.

I did want to clarify just one point in the discussion, however. As Frank's attorney, I can tell you that he has not yet taken any steps to be reinstated to the SDFU board. That is TBD.

Best regards,

Todd D. Epp, Esq.
Anonymous said…
The tide has turned on Dennis Wiese and now he is on the other side of a lawsuit.

I am really disgusted with the kind of reputation he has brought upon the SD Democrat party; as well as the Farmers Union. I realize we have both republicans and democrats in the Farmers Union, but Dennis has cut deep wounds in both FU and the SDDP.

Some real answers need to be answered on Ridgefield, and Frank's investigation into SDFU is misguided. The Flandreau Development Corporation is going after Ridgefield, which is where the real answers must be. It was ridiculous of Frank to ask to investigate SDFU...they have nothing to hide! and there is little question, because they gave the money to Ridgefield and it was all approved by the SDFU Board (of which Frank WAS a member).
Anonymous said…
Welcome to War College, Todd. It's typical of lawyers in politics to use their leverage as legislators or just plain hacks to represent their clients. Is Frankie paying you by the word as well as by the hour?
Anonymous said…
For those of you that haven't lived in Moody county, welcome. You know, I had a great-uncle, a pure blood irishmen and a stonch liberal. He always said that the air in Moody County smelt different than that of the air anywhere else. Today he is 100% correct.

The residents of Flandreau, have known of this rift between Rigfield farms and the FDC. For those people who don't know all of the Sutton v. Wiese story already, that is fine, but let me tell you, before this other incident happened, or not, Sutton and Wiese were working hand in hand to patch up this mess. Obviously it did not work.

The biggest problem with this situation is that many citizens of Flandreau had money put into this project, because Wiese used them just as he used the farmers union. The only thing that he has ever been good at, even as a kid was to make sticky situations worse.

It is a cooincidence (sorry if I butchered the spelling) that Sutton is the head of the FDC, but this is the situation that 1st boiled the dihydrogen monoxide (water) between the Wiese's and Sutton's to begin with. Granted you'd have to live in Flandreau to know that. In the end this situation will end up with Flandreau prevailing virtually unhurt. It will also begin the fall of the Wiese's (for the other incident WILL be resolved).

Frank can say what he feels, especially when he is right; so lets have the fiesta beging and by our tickets, to watch the Suton v. Wiese double header.
Anonymous said…
Yes, and Ridgefield failed because "Pierre (read Rounds Adminstration)" wouldn't toss money hand over fist on a project that wasn't going to work and didn't have the capital necessary. This isn't Russia, the state can't be a 50% partner w/a for profit business and be expected to do nothing but turn the tax dollar over.

This was a pie in the sky that blew up in Huron and Wiese kept it a live by moving the pie (turd) to Flandreu. Those who put their money in and the FDC money in as well should take their lump for a lack of due diligence and skeptism on their part.

Hey, anyone want to by some swamp land in Miner County?
Anonymous said…
Which smells worse? Wiese's relationship with Ridgefield or his relationship with Brett Healy?
Anonymous said…
Did anyone notice in that article that Sutton was also on the board of Ridgefield?

We can't be pointing so many fingers. It's a huge mess, we all know that. But don't start making this into a Sutton v. Wiese situation. It's Ridgefield v. Flandreau. Sutton and Wiese worked hand-in-hand to do what would be a great investment for Flandreau. Unfortunatly, it didn't turn out the way they had planned.
Anonymous said…
Sutton was on the board as the Flandreau development corporation's representative, after the community put the $850,000 into the project.
Anonymous said…

Sutton was seated on the Ridgefield board after HE LED the effort with Mr. Wiese and other community leaders to invest in Ridgefield.

Come on. Everyone involved at the time knew a beef processing plant was a high risk venture because there is no culture in South Dakota to support one, especially in a state where the company was written off by the governor's office and Rounds' cronies. The folks in Flandreau and at Ridgefield thought Moody County would be insulated enough from Pierre that it would minimize meddling and allow a very fragile enterprise to grow. They did their best against very tough circumstances.

Kloucek was a major saboteur throughout the Ridgefield effort in Huron and Flandreau. His motive was his jealousy of others (especially Wiese) who had constructive ideas to move the ag economy ahead.

While others see opportunities for new wealth in ag, Kloucek's political agenda is to perpetuate farmers and ranchers as victims -- so that he can be viewed as their savior. While some see government as an agent to assist growth and new wealth from the fields, Kloucek wants the prestige to officiate over the disasters he helps to create or to make worse. He is selectively blind to positive solutions.
Anonymous said…
Is it true Farmers Union loaned $1 million or more to Phil Friend who was the head of Ridgefield so that he could buy a piece of the venture? If true, was Farmers Union paid back? How much did Farmers Union invest total in Ridgefield? Is the city of Huron trying to get back the land it donated to the project?
Anonymous said…
The sad part about this law suit is Flandreau is suing Ridgefield Farms. Ridgefield Farms has nothing, I worked there till the end, the only thing they own are promissary notes. They owe money to everybody, including me.

If Flandreau wants to sue someone, they should sue Farmers Union Industries, Dennis Wiese, and Dave Velde. FUI is the company who held RF's line of credit through out the whole "Flandreau Experience". FUI used RF's relationship to secure a rendering contract with PM Beef, a company RF used to harvest cattle. FUI also collected a hefty amount of interest off of RF. Dave Velde and FUI are the ones responsible for pulling the plug on RF. RF operations ended because of FUI's ignorance with PM Beef. FUI tried to use their rendering contract as blackmail against PM. It got RF kicked out. RF became a beef company without a slaughterhouse.

Dennis Wiese weaseled his way into a position he was completely unqualified for, Chief Operating Officer, a self proclaimed title he gave himself because of his backing of FUI. He later changed his title to Chief Operating Manager, a move he thought would make him not responsible for any of his actions? Dennis never spent a day in college, yet he has managed to secure hefty salaries and bonuses from many companies in SD. When RF moved to Flandreau, he demanded a $50,000 bonus, luckily RF board members declined. They did however see fit to offer him a salary of $154,000 a year for his services.

The only reason Dennis Wiese brought the Sutton story out of the closet was an attempt to discredit Sutton and make a smoke screen for upcoming lawsuits. While Sutton might be a little different, he is a good person, and is getting picked on because Wiese is trying to put his finger in the dyke. The flood is coming Dennis.
Anonymous said…
In regards to the comment below, no, FUI invested $1 million to secure the rendering agreement of the plant that was to be built in Huron, then Flandreau. They might have invested through Phil because they were an out of state investor, but i'm not sure on that one. I do know a signed legal document exists on the rendering agreement/$1 million investment.

(Anonymous said...
Is it true Farmers Union loaned $1 million or more to Phil Friend who was the head of Ridgefield so that he could buy a piece of the venture? If true, was Farmers Union paid back? How much did Farmers Union invest total in Ridgefield? Is the city of Huron trying to get back the land it donated to the project?

11:05 AM )

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