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Office Of Hearing Examiners Upholds Jackley Ruling In Benda Case

Office Of Hearing Examiners Upholds Jackley Ruling In Benda Case

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Attorney General Marty Jackley says the Office of Hearing Examiners has upheld his withholding of the public release of investigative records into the death of a former state economic development director.

Richard Benda was found dead in October in a grove of trees near Lake Andes with a fatal shotgun wound. His death was ruled a suicide.
Jackley in November released the forensic pathologist’s findings and a summary of his office’s investigation.

He agreed to allow newspaper reporter Bob Mercer and one other journalist to review a partially redacted version of the file, but only if a member of Benda’s immediate family granted written permission. None of Benda’s immediate family members gave permission.
Mercer appealed Jackley’s decision to the administrative law office.

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