Guest post by David Z For Mayor – Widespread Sioux Falls Bribery

EDITOR’S NOTE: David’s post does NOT constitute my endorsement for his candidacy. I will give any candidate an opportunity to guest post on my website. I found the topic of interest when it comes to ethical standards in city government.

When public officials accept bribes, they stop working for “we the people” and start working for the people who bribed them.  Bribery therefore violates the fundamental purpose of democracy.  Sioux Falls Ethics Advisory Board found a widespread practice of bribery and local officials have been hiding it ever since.  Because of bribery’s great damage to democracy, and because I care so much about “we the people,” I keep raising the issue in the hope that someone in authority actually cares and will protect democracy.  I’ve publicly raised this issue so many times I’m losing count – three times at the ethics board and three times at city council – all to no avail.  Plus I sent email to SD Department of Criminal Investigation and received no response.  So now I’m sending the following letter to the attorney general and publishing it everywhere I can.  Integrity is critical to the success of democracy and both must be staunchly defended for the American way of life to succeed.  

I find the lack of official support for government integrity absolutely revolting.  I encourage you to get angry,  get involved, write letters, and vote in the upcoming city election on April 12.  Vote for candidates that care about protecting our democratic way of life.  Even if you don’t vote for me, vote for people who actually care. 

With that introduction complete, here’s the body of my letter:  

Dear Attorney General Jason R. Ravnsborg:

To provide some informative background information, I am campaigning for mayor of Sioux Falls and promoting honest, caring, practical government.  To prepare for the role as mayor, I have spent years studying issues of practical American government, making plans, and presenting findings via PowerPoint at Sioux Falls City Council meetings.  Many times over the past few years I have asked city council and mayor to improve processes, promote civil rights, and investigate bribery problems.  My efforts have met great resistance.  It is with considerable reluctance that I am writing this letter to yet again seek accountability and government transparency.  We the people should not have to go to such lengths as I have to obtain official accountability.

Last week I had a meeting with Police Chief Jon Thum and Sheriff Mike Milstead.  We talked about reducing crime and drug addiction by switching our communal focus from incarceration to treatment.  We also talked about investigating bribery among city officials.  The chief and sheriff recommended I share my concerns with you via a certified letter so that’s what I’m doing here and now.  Concerning bribery, the city’s ethics board wrote a letter to city leaders stating city leaders have a common practice of accepting gifts of paid travel.  In other words, bribery is common among city leadership.  I have attached the ethics board letter describing this problem.  We can be sure city leaders are aware of the problem because I publicly asked for accountability and disclosure repeatedly.  I have attached two of my PowerPoints on the subject, PowerPoints which I publicly presented at Sioux Falls City Council meetings. 

I am asking you to investigate city leadership accepting bribes and then to file appropriate criminal charges so the people of Sioux Falls can reasonably expect integrity in city government.  Our American Constitution begins with the words “We the people.”  When politicians accept bribes, they work for whomever provided bribes instead of working for “we the people.”  This of course violates the fundamental purpose of American democracy.  Government corruption doesn’t vanish by itself.  Frequently, visibility and publicity are necessary before bribery and corruption are addressed.  Consequently, I plan to publish this letter in local news and social media. 

                               Sincerely,

                                    David Zokaites

LINKS OF INTEREST BELOW;

AG LETTER

ETHICS BOARD LETTER, PAGE 1, PAGE 2, PAGE 3

PRESENTATION ON POLITICAL GIFTS

PRESENTATION ON ETHICAL PRACTICES

CAMPAIGN PROMISES

MAYORAL PRAYER



9 comments ↓

#1 NTNLIQ on 02.26.22 at 6:04 pm

I can’t decide between WTF and LOL.

#2 SMH on 02.26.22 at 7:13 pm

I think David z along with South Dacola needs to put down the crack pipe.

#3 D@ily Spin on 02.26.22 at 8:33 pm

Corruption has been evident since Munson. Strong Arm Charter gives the mayor autocratic power. There’s no bid process. Instead, everything is cost plus profit. Cost is using doubly inflated prices from material suppliers and contractors. Huether did many things that should have required a vote. Most councilors are pressured and become part of the scheme. Public money gets redirected into white collar criminal elements.

Ask yourself this question:
Why is it that a city with a half billion annual budget lacks infrastructure and loses money on everything?

#4 D@ily Spin on 02.26.22 at 8:42 pm

Pritchard SC last week. The water district misappropriated budget into personal funds. It was only 5 million but they got stormed by the FBI. There’s a billions case in Sioux Falls. Where are the Feds?

#5 Corn Dogger on 02.26.22 at 8:51 pm

Thank you for exposing all of this blatant misconduct David! Your slideshows at council have been a great use of everyones time, and I can only imagine the great things you would accomplish as Mayor! You got my vote Bro!
PS….can I borrow your tin foil hat when you are done with it?

#6 Very Stable Genius on 02.27.22 at 8:30 am

An alleged bribe is a legal gift until there is proof of quid pro quo.

#7 David Z for Mayor on 02.27.22 at 10:41 am

Thanks for the support folks! It takes a ton of time to figure this stuff out and seek effective remedy. It’s nice to know my efforts are appreciated.

#8 Mike Lee Zitterich on 02.27.22 at 12:10 pm

We need to revise Charter Section 5.05 to attempt to amend the “Budgeting Process”. Currently all we do is allow the Mayor’s Office to recommend a budget, which he does on on or around July 1st. This triggers the budget process to begin. The City Council should be analyzing the budget, forcing changes where necessary, but they in recent years simply just adopt the Mayor’s Recommendation, which by “Charter” says they must adopt by September 30. What I propose is that the we move this up 20 days, voting to adopt the Mayor’s recommended plan on September 10th, while revising the charter to read as follows:

“….If the city council fails to adopt a budget by this date, within ten (10) days, the city council shall return to the mayor a detailed list of items that should be added or removed from the proposed budget, and the mayor shall submit to the city council a list of items that should be added or removed from the proposed budget. Ten days after that deadline, the mayor plus two city council members shall call forth a Special Council Meeting to discuss the changes to bemade to the budget in order to pass the annual appropriation budget. If the two sides cannot agree to an appropriation budget by joint resolution, the last agreed prior budget shall remain in full effect for next twelve months.”

Then, revise section D to be as:

“…..But, no such tax increase and/or revenue plan exeeding $10,000,000 million dollars assessed to land, real or
tangible property of the residents, and of which shall behold any future city council body exeeding two years, shall not go into effect without first obtaining a seventy-five (75) percent vote of the city council, or before a public vote be taken by the residents of the city, and such vote shall not be less than a sixty (60) percent majority of the population of the city as per the
last reported census.”

**What this does, it moves up the date to adopt the Mayors recommendation to September 10th, whereas we now have 20 days to slice and dice that budget, add or subtract items, thus setting up debate on specific matters of interest, while IF the COUNCIL is forced to adopt a spending plan of $10,000,000 or more, that vote is then forced to be a super majority and a public vote. IF we cannot adopt a new budget for the new year, the CITY GOVT is forced to stay within the last approved spending budget, meaning it would be forced to cut items from the budget…

#9 NTNLIQ on 02.27.22 at 3:56 pm

Z reads all the above and thinks they’re app supportive posts. I’ve decided both LOL and WTF are appropriate.