Sometimes Rumors and Gossip turns out to be true

Sometimes as a blogger, I walk a delicate tight rope. I have different standards when it comes to sources. I will use anonymous sources if I know they are reliable, sometimes that fails me.

I heard a lot of things surrounding what happened with State’s Attorney Aaron McGowan. I did a little digging around on my own to. Much of what I read in the AG’s report turned out to be what I heard, so I wasn’t surprised. Some of the gossip I heard was absolutely untrue. This is why I struggled with saying anything until there was more ‘public’ information. I have also known McGowan for almost 20 years. I wouldn’t consider him a ‘friend’ but he has always been cordial with me, so I didn’t feel a need to dig up a bunch of crap about him before a public investigation was released.

Alcohol abuse is NOT a laughing matter, and I hope he gets help, it’s just unfortunate it had to go this far.

I think when public officials are faced with personal difficulties in their lives, it’s best to be transparent and honest with constituents about it, ASAP. I guess it goes back to my feelings about open government. A lot of issues can be resolved much quicker if you just own up to them, apologize and move on.

Now if we can just pass that sentiment to our president.


#1 White panther on 10.09.19 at 7:46 pm

Stay out of his personal life.

#2 l3wis on 10.09.19 at 8:18 pm

I would agree, and that is why I only posted a link to the story. But you also have to remember, when you choose to run for a public office (McGowan was elected to this position, NOT appointed) you have an obligation to the public when your ‘personal’ life affects your ‘public’ life.

#3 "Very Stable Genius" on 10.09.19 at 8:44 pm

No wonder there was never a grand jury concerning the Copper Lounge collapse.

#4 D@ily Spin on 10.09.19 at 9:01 pm

This is a high stress heavy workload position. It deserves sentiment and assist. If there’s something wrong it may be that his duties are overwhelming. It’s sad that he’s elected and (therefore) cannot take time for recovery. There’s more cases he’d like to properly handle. How about give him a bigger staff and a chance for him to work on what may or may not be an addiction.

#5 Archie on 10.09.19 at 9:34 pm

Sad. Poor decisions lead to bad outcomes. Proud of SFPD as they took a lot of shots throughout this mess from the media for just doing their job. Their integrity shines brightly against the stain the rest of this leaves.

#6 mk on 10.09.19 at 10:50 pm

After all of the cases he has prosecuted where the defendants actions were cased by drugs, alcohol, or mental health issues, I hope at least now he feels like a huge hypocrite.

I wonder if an average person would have been declared “not a danger to themselves or others” and still get to carry a concealed weapon? I don’t think so.

Anyone know when he is up for re-election? I want to work for his opponent’s campaign.

#7 John on 10.10.19 at 8:34 am

Overworked are you kidding me he’s a liar he’s on TV saying I handling hundreds of cases in the report shows he has 4! Then asking employees were working to leave the office and bring him alcohol and then having another employee only get time off if he agrees to buy alcohol for her and he can come to her house this conduct is reprehensible

He needs to resign

#8 John on 10.10.19 at 8:36 am

Mk, I was thinking the same thing. The election is in 2020

#9 Jimmy on 10.10.19 at 9:44 am

Stay out of his personal life? He’s a public official. If this blog has taught me anything it’s people in public office need to be heavily scrutinized. Remember, he works for us and any abuse of taxpayer dollars caused by his alcoholism needs to be investigated. He has a high stress heavy workload position? Welcome to being an adult. You know what’s high stress? A soldier or cop being shot at. A person going through chemotherapy. A family making ends meet on minimum wage. Give him the help with a bigger staff? Uh huh. People bitch and moan about high taxes already so don’t expect the money fairy to suddenly show up.

As the top law enforcement official in the county he doesn’t deserve a free pass and the excuses people are making for him don’t engender any sympathy. As a alcoholic he could not have possibly given 100% focus to his work and the county and court system deserved better.

#10 Jon on 10.10.19 at 2:29 pm

Great points Jimmy.

If this were a Republican a lot of folks on this site would be demanding his resignation yesterday. Because he wears a “D” he gets a pass.

If I held up an employees day off until they brought me booze at my house, I’d be fired immediately and so would most of the commenters on here.

#11 MK on 10.10.19 at 2:58 pm

The report also states he received no preferential treatment.

What would have happened to an average Joe who refused the police request to open the door, after they opened the door?

#12 l3wis on 10.10.19 at 4:52 pm

Jon, I think he should resign. But I also think he needs to get help, but would agree, he can do it on his own time and dime, since he decided to drink on my dime and time.

#13 LJL on 10.10.19 at 7:45 pm

Wondering…. Do you think he’s the only city employee who has an afternoon drink on the clock or at a work function?

I don’t know the man and I would not advocate for anyone to do the things he is accused of (while at work) but the report does read that anyone within his workgroup could grind an ax within this investigation.

He needs to get help and I will hold him to standards of a common working man. He would most likely not be fired if this was the only evidence and he was working for a car dealership.

#14 Bruce on 10.11.19 at 8:13 am

LJL, it reminds me of the city employees L3wis and I would see as part of the 3:00pm Monks crowd.

#15 Jimmy on 10.11.19 at 8:34 am

@LJL – McGowan is a county employee not a city employee. I am sure there are other county employees that drink on the job just as I am sure there are employees in every single profession that drink on the job. There are Alcoholics in every profession and walk of life.

Do you really think the other attorneys in the office are going to put their careers and reputation on the line by fabricating facts in the midst of a investigation by the SD Attorney General? Maybe so. Maybe not.

Let’s not act like all professions and positions in the work force are equal. He is the States Attorney responsible for putting murderers behind bars, prosecuting DUI’s, Assaults and every crime in between. He is the one who has the final say on “cutting deals” with defense lawyers that can have huge effects on defendants and victims. He’s not a car salesman, a construction worker or a fry cook. Let’s not act like those professions carry equal stature or have the responsibilities that a States Attorney has. To do so just isn’t being honest about the way society assigns value.

#16 voter on 10.11.19 at 9:51 am

I’d have a lot more respect for this individual if he would resign, rather than being thrown out of office next year.

#17 Shane on 10.11.19 at 3:48 pm

You have to wonder had he been a Republican if Noem would have released the report or commissioned it general. I refuse to believe that his affiliation as a Democrat did not have some role to play on how this all was made public. Maybe not, but today’s current climate suggests that either side will do whatever it takes to make the other side look bad.

#18 Not a Fan on 10.11.19 at 4:46 pm

Who got interviewed about his behavior besides family and coworkers? So he is saying his family and coworkers are liars?

Not much of an apology. And that’s not taking responsibility for his actions either.

#19 LJL on 10.11.19 at 6:07 pm

I understand he works for the county. So he should be treated differently because he has a high powered job? Seems to me that’s one of the problems with our government these days. Too many “high powered’ think they are the untouchables. This “unequal structure” is why we are seeing so many secret settlements and golden parachutes. He does a job, he’s not a god.

I’ll bet you $100 one of this subordinates will be on the ballot for the next election. So yes there is motive.

The report states his office is still effective at its task. Alcoholism is an illness and as the report states he has no restrictions for taking sick leave. If the governor fired him, we would be paying a settlement. I would advise that he finishes his term and not seek re-election. I certainly will not vote for him again.

#20 "Very Stable Genius" on 10.11.19 at 6:42 pm


You are exactly right. Had he been a Republican, she would have never had him further investigated.

Just as the Republican Minnehaha County Commission wouldn’t be worried about auditing, if the County Treasurer was a Republican, too.

( – and Woodstocks adds: “What?”…..”Auditing?”….”It must be something that the GOP has learned since GEAR-UP and EB5, huh?” )

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