Scandal Land. Harsh, perhaps, but it doesn’t feel too strong.
Not with seven dead, and four awaiting criminal trials, possibly facing jail or prison, and other persons of possible interest perhaps still in the wings, in two separate scandals that have raised EB-5 and GEAR UP from obscurity into headlines.
Scandals that involved millions of dollars, washing without any high-level accountability for too many years through two state government departments, and enriching private hands.
The latest revelations from state Attorney General Marty Jackley’s investigation of the GEAR UP fiasco suggest many, many thousands of public-paid dollars flowed to restaurants, casinos and an array of private businesses for questionable purposes.
Those details might be why Stacy Phelps of Rapid City, the former GEAR UP director, and Dan Guericke of White Lake, the former director of Mid Central Educational Cooperative at Platte, backdated contracts.
Falsifying documents, in one instance on the hood of a vehicle next to a farm field where a former Mid Central board member was working, took place in the days just before Mid Central wasn’t renewed as a grant sub-recipient for GEAR UP.
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