UPDATE II: Daren is sooooo awesome and cool.

The AL reported last night that Ketchum was in negotiations with Legacy since April. Should this be any surprise? Let’s look at previous employees that pulled this;

Erica Beck left the planning office of the city after being forced to write the Sanford Sports Complex Mega-Tif that had nothing to do with blight, setting a precedent moving forward with TIFs. Beck was at least smart enough to bounce around at a couple of little known non-profit agencies before landing at Lloyd Companies. She did a full circle and returned to the city.

Kendra Siemonsma who was the project manager for the Events Center and the Midco Aquatic Center suddenly quit the city and went to work for Midco right after inking the sponsorship deal with them (which included two very ugly signs in Spellerberg Park advertising a Cable Company that has a virtual monopoly in Sioux Falls). Ironically, she is no longer with Midco, and works for Sanford now.

Kevin Smith (who I believe was forced to resign from the city after taking a demotion) took a job with AE2S who does consulting for the city.

While there isn’t much the city can do legally to stop the parking ramp from being built (the bonds have already been sold). They can refuse to do anymore PPPs with Legacy over the next two years as long as Ketchum is VP.  We’ll be watching.

Well, we have known it for a long time, Developers run our city and it’s planning office and it couldn’t get more blatantly obvious;

Daren Ketcham, the former Sioux Falls city official who was paramount in picking Legacy Developments to lead a $50 million parking ramp project in downtown Sioux Falls, began his role as vice president with that same company Monday.

UPDATE: This couldn’t get any richer;

Ketcham won’t be working on one of Legacy’s largest projects, however. The company is involved in the Village on the River mixed-use development under construction along 10th Street east of Phillips Avenue.

The city’s conflict-of-interest ordinance prohibits Ketcham from representing Legacy before the city or any public body for two years involving any project he worked on while employed there.

“It shouldn’t be an issue,” said Drake

LMAO. I’m sure he won’t be asked ANY questions behind closed corporate board room doors about the project. Hey Norm, I’m pretty sure the ‘conflict of interest’ refers to employment as well.

Besides the obvious conflict of interest of going to work immediately for Legacy after just handing them a $20 million dollar parking ramp with taxpayer money, some are questioning what Mayor TenHaken was told, when he was told it, and what he told us. The story goes that when Ketchum handed in his resignation he said who he was going to work for, or at least said it was a major developer in town. After that, he was NOT allowed access to any city computers/data, etc. Big whoop. Who knows what he took on thumb drives before his announcement. But according to the mayor’s office, Ketchum said he wouldn’t go to work for his new employer until late summer/early fall, after finishing up some Guard duties. So was Ketchum completely honest with Paul and his intentions and Paul wasn’t giving it to us straight? I don’t know. My guess is that both of them stretched the truth a bit.

The Erica Beck deal after just working for Lloyd Companies is just as shady. Supposedly she signed some kind of ‘financial disclosure’ yet I have not seen the document, and if it exists, it needs to be for public display on the city website. It should also include at least a 24 month waiting period before she can go back to work for any developer doing business with taxpayers after she quits the city (such as TIF’s or public/private partnerships).

I think it is time a Grand Jury get involved with investigating the DT parking ramp with Legacy. I also think that if TenHaken had at least one ounce of integrity, he would use his power to put the project on HOLD until the rats can be ferreted out.

This wreaks of corruption!

By l3wis

9 thoughts on “UPDATE II: These are the kind of things Grand Juries investigate”
  1. The entire business elite in this town have the blood of the dead construction worker on their hands in my opinion…. And that is just an other reason why you do not reward a member of that crowd the Lt. Governor nomination…..

  2. In January of ’17 or December of ’16 on KELO, our State’s Attorney claimed he was waiting for the OSHA findings (concerning the building collapse) to act, but the OSHA findings have been out for sometime, so where is the grand jury?

    I know that grand juries are suppose to be secretive, but those of us who remember the federal grand jury into our own Sheriff’s office back in the mid 1990s will remember that grand juries tend to be the rumored talk of the town, except at this time, I hear no talk….

    Now, I know the Feds are looking into this via the OSHA findings; and it is one of the very few OSHA fines that is leading to a criminal referral by OSHA to the District Attorney’s office. But it is my guess that that investigate is limited to federal law, which can do nothing to clean up the good old boy network in this town as far as development in general and further development…..It’s time for the SA to act!


  3. VSG called this back on May 22 with this comment about Ketchum’s resignation,

    “coffee boy?”……. I think Legacy is Lamont’s “coffee boy,” or is it Boomerang?…. I can’t keep them all straight… (Perhaps, that’s the idea….. )”

  4. But, hey … Drake and Ketcham tell us that Legacy has a conflict of interest policy!

  5. Exactly Bruce!…. I was thinking the same thing…. Or how about, if interested, we must conflict….

  6. Apparently, you must be corrupt to get an appointment in city government. So many were short term and asked to resign. Resign means fired. If I had worked for city government, I be sure and not put it on my resume. Kevin Smith directed a city hearing against me. There was an unsubstantiated unenforceable threat. My smile showing all my teeth got him rather riled.

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