I said I would remain quiet on this topic until it played out in court. Well the ruling is in, and so is DL’s opinion on the matter;

Sioux Falls Assistant City Attorney Keith Allenstein has pleaded guilty to drunken driving, Attorney General Marty Jackley announced Wednesday.

City Attorney Dave Pfeifle said Allenstein will continue serving in his current position as legal adviser to both the Sioux Falls police and fire departments.

“Both chiefs in those departments have expressed the utmost confidence in his ability to perform his job,” Pfeifle said.

Do I think Allenstein should lose his job over the conviction? Probably not, not to mention, I am also not his manager, so if the conviction doesn’t impede on his job performance I see no reason to cut him loose. BUT, I will say this, it’s not like Keith is the chief goose crap bike trail scraper for the Parks & Rec department, he is a city attorney whose position with that office is to advise the SFPD and FD. I am uncomfortable with him advising law enforcement on any issue if he can’t even abide by traffic laws himself. I think his position should be changed and a demotion should be considered.

All that being said, what frustrates me the most about this case is the blatant hypocrisy of this administration, especially towards women.

City Clerk Debra Owen was fired over (allegedly) an employee conflict issue. She had to be replaced by three people.

Head Librarian Sally Felix was fired (asked to retire) because of her disagreements with her boss.

We also must look at another city attorney who was (allegedly) fired because he (allegedly) got caught fixing a ticket for one of his children. Not a minor offense, and definitely something worth being terminated over.

So you ask yourself, if the city attorney who advises the PD and FD can plead guilty to DUI and not have any repercussions, what is the BAR for a terminating offense with Huether? I guess it is OK to drive drunk, just don’t disagree with your boss.

27 Thoughts on “UPDATED: The hypocritical employment policies of city hall

  1. And your last sentence says it all. Extremely sad.

  2. He is also a ‘MAN’.

    There is a lot I could say about that, but I will keep it to myself.

  3. Not sure on this one – I can see both sides.

    However, if you are uncomfortable with him advising law enforcement on any issue if he can’t even abide by traffic laws, do you have any confidence in officer Cynthia Holmquest who recently rear ended a car near Arlington which resulted in the death of a 17 year old girl?

    I really don’t think is is an issue of man vs. woman… but rather if the person is willing to play ball and see eye to eye with their leadership. So I guess pretty much like everything else in life.

  4. Public servants main duty is to serve the public, not a self annoited King. If he had any integrity he would ask to be put in another position. I’m sure goose crap scraper needs a break anyway 🙂

  5. l3wis on August 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm said:

    BTW, good managers listen to their employee’s opinions. That is why Lincoln surrounded himself with a cabinet that disagreed with him. And NO, I am not comparing Huether to Lincoln.

  6. We shouldn’t have pudgy alcoholics as wait staff either.

  7. l3wis on August 8, 2013 at 3:47 pm said:

    I would agree!

  8. l3wis on August 8, 2013 at 3:50 pm said:

    BTW, do you have many pudgy alcoholics in the Hillcrest neighborhood?

  9. Craig on August 8, 2013 at 3:58 pm said:

    Pudgy alcoholics make the best wait staff because they prove they love the products they sell.

    Would you trust a car salesman that doesn’t have a drivers license or a dentist with no teeth?

    Exactly!

  10. l3wis on August 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm said:

    Funny. When I suggest food, wine or beer, I always tell the table, “Trust me, I have tried it all.” While grabbing my belly. Ironically the water drinky, skinny type always order the opposite of what I suggest, then complain it wasn’t good. Go figure.

  11. You might have a different perception of this situation if you experienced what my family has.

    January 1998. My 16 year-old nephew and his 17 year-old girlfriend were killed instantly by a drunk driver, Jared Schwebach, on the bridge just east of Brandon.

    Sioux Falls Assistant City Attorney Keith Allenstein has pleaded guilty to drunken driving, Attorney General Marty Jackley announced Wednesday.

    City Attorney Dave Pfeifle said Allenstein will continue serving in his current position as legal adviser to both the Sioux Falls police and fire departments.

    “Both chiefs in those departments have expressed the utmost confidence in his ability to perform his job,” Pfeifle said.

    April 2014

    Time for a change in the Mayor’s office and the City Attorney’s.

  12. Craig on August 8, 2013 at 4:54 pm said:

    Sorry cr – there are no words that ever can minimize your loss.

    I’m in full support of throwing the books at drunk drivers, and I support much harsher sentences. However when it comes to employment I guess I consider it a separate issue. I can understand how some see this as a conflict and I can respect that. Perhaps he should have been reassigned, but do we have anyone else that could do his job or would it mean having to hire another attorney?

    Does it matter that he was right near the limit vs. three or four times over it? Not if he causes an accident with a family member, so maybe this isn’t so easy to answer.

    I think if I were in charge, I’d probably ask him to resign. Hard to give advice to others you aren’t willing to follow yourself, and the last thing we need in government are people who feel they are above the law.

  13. Outside looikng In on August 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm said:

    The town of Brandon, SD re-elected it’s grade school teacher after his DUI. Sad.

  14. Outside looikng In on August 8, 2013 at 4:57 pm said:

    Grade school teacher MAYOR. Sorry ’bout that.

  15. Big Guy on August 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm said:

    Someone told me that this whole thing (blog) was all about witch hunting. I told him no it is more about holding them accountable for their actions.

  16. “Does it matter that he was right near the limit vs. three or four times over it?”

    They never said his limit, only that he was over the .08 – that could mean anything. Since he pleaded guilty to DUI, he must have been substantially over.

    Witch hunting? LOL! I’m sure that is some other BS Mike is spreading around. They wish they were as talented as witches.

  17. anominous on August 8, 2013 at 10:30 pm said:

    I liked the part in the Tornow news where it says he “had asked for only a private reprimand”.

  18. So Tornow wanted double top secret academic probation? Or whatever that Animal House quote is.

  19. I’m sure he did. I remember how mad Staggers was about that incident, cost him some votes in the mayoral election.

  20. They should have canned him for the 7 years of Hell he put Pathloss thru. It amazes me they waited until he fixed a ticket for his kid, I mean seriously? What lawyer pop wouldn’t do that for their kid? But blatant harrassing of a private citizens, for years, that’s just A-OK! And people wonder why he goes off on this site.

    For the record, he has retired from commenting, and asked me to take his ads down. He is about to retire, and wants to stay out of the ‘city’ discussion. and I can’t say I don’t blame him. It’s pretty pathetic, and predictable.

  21. The WHOLE AP story;

    South Dakota Supreme Court publicly censures former state Rep. Tornow, Sioux Falls lawyer
    By CHET BROKAW Associated Press
    August 08, 2013 – 7:04 pm EDT

    PIERRE, South Dakota — The South Dakota Supreme Court publicly censured former state Rep. R. Shawn Tornow on Thursday for his actions in two cases when he was an assistant city attorney for Sioux Falls.

    Tornow, who served two separate terms in the state House, had asked for only a private reprimand, but the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that his conduct was serious enough to warrant a public censure, which gets noted in the State Bar’s monthly newsletter.

    The State Bar’s Disciplinary Board had recommended publicly censuring Tornow for violating rules governing lawyers’ conduct.

    The Disciplinary Board found that while Tornow was assistant city attorney, he acted unfairly by not giving some information to a former city commissioner involved in a case before the city’s Ethics Board. The board also found that Tornow had an improper conversation with another lawyer representing Tornow’s daughter on a traffic violation.

    Tornow declined to comment, referring questions to his lawyer, Darrell Jesse. The Dakota Dunes attorney didn’t respond to phone messages seeking comment about the ruling.

    The Supreme Court said Tornow misled people he dealt with in an official capacity, attempted to conceal a recording he knew had value as evidence to protect himself, used information obtained in his job to work against the city’s interests, allowed his relationship with his daughter to interfere with his loyalty to the city and wrote a legal brief that disparaged a judge and a prosecutor.

    “These acts were not isolated, foolish, negligent or done in the heat of trial; they were intentional and numerous,” Chief Justice David Gilbertson wrote for the high court. “With all of the incidents, Tornow had sufficient time to reflect before engaging in conduct that was personally and professionally offensive and flagrantly disrespectful.”

    Court records show that Tornow had a phone conversation on May 18, 2010, with former city council member Kermit Staggers about the Ethics Board’s handling of a case involving Staggers. Staggers later called requesting a recording of the conversation, incorrectly referring to it as the “May 17 conversation.” Tornow told him there was no such recording, but he didn’t inform Staggers that the reason was because the conversation actually occurred May 18.

    The Supreme Court also considered an improper conversation Tornow had when his daughter fought city citations for speeding and failing to wear a seat belt. The city attorney’s office could not prosecute the citations because Tornow worked there, so the case was referred to the county state’s attorney’s office. When his daughter’s defense lawyer called, Tornow told the lawyer there was no agreement allowing the county to prosecute such a case. The case initially was dismissed, but was later prosecuted under state law.

    In a hearing in May, Tornow told the Supreme Court he was “hypersensitive” about the confidentiality surrounded the Ethics Board proceedings and he believed the phone conversation with Staggers was a confidential work product. He said he now realizes he should have asked Staggers if he was referring to the May 18 conversation.

    Tornow also told the justices in the May hearing he should not have talked with the lawyer representing his daughter in the traffic case.

  22. Okay, back to Keith, the original reason of this post.

    The mayor should have stepped in on this situation and is mysteriously silent. Hmm.

  23. Lemming on August 8, 2013 at 11:26 pm said:

    How is the view from inside your glass house? And turning it into a racist/sexist thing is just plain BS. The dude got popped for DWI. He admitted his guilt and accepted responsibility for driving after a few too many. He’ll pay his fines, his insurance will be jacked for years, and I’m sure he’s taken a good deal of damage in both his personal and professionial life.

    hyp·o·crite
    [hip-uh-krit]
    noun
    1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

    2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

  24. I said Huether was a hypocrite, not Keith. Let’s be clear.

    There is a double standard. If I was the mayor, I would at least release a public statement saying Keith would be demoted and reprimand. Nothing. Zilch. But two women who worked hard to make this city a better place were thrown under the bus. It’s a boys club down at city hall, make no mistake. I have my moles.

  25. anonymous on August 9, 2013 at 7:37 am said:

    Lemming on 08.08.13 at 11:26 pm

    The dude got popped for DWI. He admitted his guilt and accepted responsibility for driving after a few too many. He’ll pay his fines, his insurance will be jacked for years, and I’m sure he’s taken a good deal of damage in both his personal and professional life.

    Really, Lemming?

    So, you think a city attorney who advises the police and fire departments should not be held to a higher standard!!?

    Also, quite a role model for the young people of SF!!

    And his superiors (Huether and Pfeifle) who appear not to be holding him accountable.

    Do you think SF voters might disagree with you!!?

  26. While Ellis’ story on Tornow was good (or bad) I am getting a copy of the 31 page censure the SC gave him. Can’t wait to read and post this.

    Talk about a scolding. Maybe Tornow could have a signing at Zandbroz?

  27. I also found out what the disagreement Felix had with Huether. It was over carpet cleaning of one of the branch libraries. Yup, that’s right, the head librarian was fired over dirty carpets . . . but DUI’s in the city attorney’s office. No biggee.

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