You know the old saying, “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it just may be a duck.” which should be followed by the sayings “Follow the money.” and “Pay to play.”

Sioux Falls city attorney Stacy Kooistra is becoming the new chief operating officer and general counsel for the Dakota State University-Applied Research Corporation.

Kooistra will begin his duties this spring and will be based in Sioux Falls.

Last year when the city pledged $10 million to the project for ‘landscaping and other stuff’ according to DSU’s president in a city council presentation, it seems someone is receiving the benefits of that gift.

The city certainly won’t be in dire straits if Mr. Kooistra leaves since most of the heavy lifting in that department is done by staff attorneys and outside counsel (in which the city spends millions each year by hiding legal budgets throughout multiple departments instead of having a centralized legal fund in the finance department).

Kooistra has also been rumored to take extensive leave for his military commitments (while still receiving city compensation, PTO and benefits) which is protected by Federal Law but has left the office in disarray. Just look at Stacy’s misguided opinions on the 1st Amendment and prior restraint or the multiple typos on council agenda items culminating into misleading legal statements presented to the council on the 6th Street Bunker Bridge vote.

But the timing of this promotion is what is dubious. The city announced a little less then a year ago they would be committing $10 million to the project and even after the president of DSU really didn’t know what the money would be used for the rubber stamp council approved the pledge. After TenHaken enjoyed four endorsed council victories in the city election last spring it seems he has been on a ramrodding spree to do whatever he wants including this suddenly mysterious promotion of Kooistra to the very institution that is receiving millions of dollars from Sioux Falls taxpayers and the city he currently serves (ironically to a guy who doesn’t even live in Sioux Falls city limits).

So is this a conflict of interest? Does a duck quack?

18 Thoughts on “City of Sioux Falls lead attorney receives job with DSU-Applied Research Corp. after city pledges $10 Million

  1. D@ily Spin on February 16, 2023 at 11:57 am said:

    Just curious but do city officials ever do any work associated with their public service jobs. It just seems that everything gets subcontracted out to entities that return the monetary favor not even a year later. Why are these actions legal? Can’t these instances be used as grounds to release private white collar criminals from prison? Let Bernie Madoff go!!!

  2. D@ily Spin on February 16, 2023 at 12:04 pm said:

    How can the city spend 10 million on nothing in particular? It’s time for a General Services investigative branch like as for the Feds. Shouldn’t this action become a state disbarment action?

  3. D@ily Spin on February 16, 2023 at 12:08 pm said:

    Is FBI an acronym for Forget Before Investigated?

  4. Arletta on February 16, 2023 at 1:38 pm said:

    Can’t wait to see the Mayor post a selfie with Stacy.

  5. The Guy From Guernsey on February 16, 2023 at 4:03 pm said:

    The newest vessel through which government money (City, State and Federal) can be laundered to the pockets of private citizens and businesses is OPEN FOR BUSINESS!!!

  6. City Council could investigate anytime they want if they believe something fishy is occurring…that is their power.

    I do not believe he did anything wrong, it may have been a job posting after the fact that came up, and he happened to notice it as part of doing his job, and it is not uncommon for department heads to step down to take a more lucrative offer.

    Where the city is being sued where it conflicts with the duties of the City Attorney’s office, they have to use an outside service.

  7. Good for Stacy. His service to our country, state and city has been with distinction. He will do well in this role. Lead on sir.

  8. “it may have been a job posting after the fact that came up, and he happened to notice it as part of doing his job,”

    Yeah, you bet 🙁

  9. Yea right on February 17, 2023 at 8:36 am said:

    You may have something there Chesty.

    Stacy has distinguished himself by being a self-serving BFF of the right wing northwest Iowans trying to take over South Dakota and Sioux Falls. Land is cheap here by comparison and apparently the citizens are also gullible by falling for their scams. Stacy is just another border jumper who arrived here like his BFF PTH to ripoff the lazy brains Sioux Falls people.

  10. Yea right on February 17, 2023 at 8:43 am said:

    To show how inept our law enforcement and justice systems are I just read another headline by DCI “Officer-involved shooting justified”. Has there ever been an officer involved shooting NOT justified in South Dakota? Our right wing Christian nationalist fascists who are taking over would just as soon clean the house of everyone who is not part of their group than to see any of them.

    What these wackos don’t seem to understand is, one they clean the house on their perceived bad eggs, they will turn on each other.

    Then again, maybe popcorn sales will go up as we can sit and watch the shows.

  11. Very Stable Genius on February 17, 2023 at 11:45 am said:

    South Dakota, Inc.,

  12. Mike Lee Zitterich on February 17, 2023 at 12:26 pm said:

    Scott, i never questioned your opinion that perhaps the City Attorney may have had inside knowledge of a job posting for the position, I simply stated that we should not so much accuse someone of any wrong doing, cause we do not know all of the facts of the situation. Perhaps you may be correct in your assertions, perhaps not.

    In the spirit of doing his job, of forming legal opinions for the Mayor and the City Council, he most likely was privileged of learning of the job, and I do not know of any law that could prohibit him from taking the job in question. Now was the job posted to the public, allowing for other applicants, and if not, then you may have a cause for injustice, and the Council should investigate it.

    However, where we disagree, I do beleive Stacy Kooistra has been one of our better served City Attorney’s, he is not only a Military, Veteran, thus serving our Country, he has to the best of his ability provided us his legal opinion in his own words, whereas anyone could disagree with, but until someone over turns his opinion, the opinion stands.

    I will never question any decison of any of our “Directors” of wanting to go back into the private sector, they can make more money privately, then they can in public. And this is the perfect means of allowing a “Revolving Door” within our Administrations – other than placing term limits on the directors, we should not want them holding appointed office for longer than 4 to 6 years, let alone two complete terms.

    By the directors stepping down, ‘we’ can control the ‘salary’ more effectively, not handing out the raises.

  13. D@ily Spin on February 17, 2023 at 5:06 pm said:

    The rich must pay higher taxes and the poor need a tax cut. Then, the rich will be stealing from themselves without realizing it and the poor can survive despite inflation.

  14. D@ily Spin on February 17, 2023 at 5:24 pm said:

    There’s something seriously wrong when a public official lives comfortably and above the law while there’s so many homeless and police go hunting minorities. Forefathers were privately well to do and took little payment. They were proud to donate their service. George Washington led the army into battle. Today, ranking military send poorly paid privates into combat while they hide miles away filling out paperwork for their erroneous heroism awards. I’ve witnessed it. It’s disgusting. When officers return to civilian life they become politicians and government thumb suckers that cause more harm than good.

  15. Blasphemo on February 18, 2023 at 2:20 pm said:

    $10m pledge to DSU to further cyber security research. . . . but the COSF agonizes over allocating $500k more for widespread cratered city streets. Sure. Makes perfect sense. Uh, how about we walk before we run, huh? WALK BEFORE YOU RUN, FOLKS.

  16. D@ily Spin on February 18, 2023 at 11:25 pm said:

    So TenHaken has a computer business and this is his last term as mayor. Coincidentally, 10 mil is diverted into cybersecurity research.

  17. Cybersecurity research and tennis courts, the ball always seems to be in their court.

  18. Mike Zitterich on February 20, 2023 at 2:17 am said:

    The S.D Legislature most likely is going to approve SB209 in the coming weeks ahead, this is going to allow for the City of Deadwood to partner with contract to the likes of Downtown Sioux Falls and the City of Sioux Falls to expand “Sports Wagering” Statewide. This will allow for example – the City of Sioux Falls which “owns” two Alcohol and Liquor Licenses and by means of the Entertainment District of the Event Center, Convention Space, the Arena, the Orpheum, and Washington Pavilion – to Operate “Sports Betting” as a contracted partner as Business “B” to go into business to sell, advertise, market, and take bets at all of its “events” earning COMMISSIONS off the sales, of which by state law, all “Net Proceeds” towards the Historical Preservation of the City of Deadwood and its Interior Infrastructure.

    If I a correct here, this will provide the City of Sioux Falls a newfound “Revenue Stream” which it could invest in its own “Public Infrastrucure, the same for the DOWNTOWN SIOUX FALLS CORP which ‘acts’ as a private business itself…

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