UPDATE II (updated): Towards the end of the CRC meeting, chair Hajek mentions they will be discussing emergency appropriations and supplemental appropriations at the next meeting(?), and I am not sure if anyone is bringing a proposal. After I rewatched the meeting it was hard to understand if someone was actually bringing a proposal to the next meeting or not but sounded like there will be a discussion. Sorry about the confusion earlier in the post, THERE IS NOTHING IN WRITING RIGHT NOW, but we will watch for the next agenda. (FF 40:00)

I had a good laugh listening to the CRC meeting today. Mike Zitterich asked a great question about the city attorney and issuing opinions. Lead attorney David P. answered first and basically said the AG has more power. Former AG, Larry Long and CRC member answered next and basically said the AG’s opinion can be thrown out or ignored by the courts.

When former city clerk Owen filed an open meetings violation against the city after she was terminated, David used the defense of an AG’s opinion and the lawyers on the open meetings commission told David then that the opinion is NOT case law and cannot be used as a defense. In fact, I was at the hearing, and they told him TWICE that his defense was flimsy, and he lost.

He learned nothing.

UPDATE: One thing that came to mind when they were having the discussion about litigation transparency, etc., it got me thinking about the Active Transportation Board and why it may have come about. If you look at how it got started there is NO mention of someone nicely asking them to form this board. I have a sneaky feeling the 4,000 ADA violations lawsuit may have something to do with it.

UPDATE III: The Parks board is meeting TWO times on September 20th with a 2 PM meeting with NO agenda or location (I’m sure it is some quasi-executive session about Lenin’s Tomb at the Zoo).

4 Thoughts on “UPDATE II: Sioux Falls City Attorney forgets why he lost the open meetings complaint from the former city clerk

  1. Very Stable Genius on September 13, 2023 at 8:20 pm said:

    Does this mean the “twig theory” would not hold-up in court? Or, is a theory even different from an opinion, or of inferior relevance, where an opinion comes from an understanding of the general law or common law, while a theory is a postulation of fact held together by the pure speculation of convenience, which would then mean it’s the weaker of the two cerebral concepts, right?

    Oh, and speaking of the “twig theory”, do you guys remember my recent rant about the “magic bullet” theory? Well, check this out:


    ( and Woodstocks adds: “Say, have you guys heard about this theory involving Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, voting machines, 9/11, and that tragic day in Dallas?”…)

  2. Mike Lee Zitterich on September 14, 2023 at 8:22 am said:

    Great Points, and it was been a question I have been wanting to ask for a while, and felt this was a perfect time, cause we’ could update the charter, or simply by ordinance make this chance

    I do agree with the City Attorney on one aspect, many of his legal opinions are advisory opinions on small tedious issues, however, I do still believe the City Council, the Mayor, Other Such Persons could request substantial legal opinions which could be published on the city website for people to read and research. Their intent like the Attorney General, are merely to guide future policys

    As for the former Attorney Generals thoughts, he is right, legal opinions are only worth the weight of the paper they are written on, no COURT nor JUDGE have to really accept them, as they are merely opinions, based in facts or evidence of how one person perceives how the law is to be interpreted. They merely guide policy until we either A) change state law or the constitution itself, of B) someone takes a case before a State Court where a Judge provides his official opinion, assessment, recommendation aka forming case law.

    This is definately a topic worth having…

  3. D@ily Spin on September 14, 2023 at 9:33 am said:

    I wonder whether Rule of Law works anymore. There never seems to be resolution. One appeals forever until nobody remembers the subject matter. The city attorney can lose about something but ignore it and proceed as usual. Murder can be a life sentence that after appeals becomes 6 years then time served and a short parole. Robbery is often unsupervised unrestricted home confinement. A civil lawsuit can be a million dollar settlement but defendant takes bankruptcy and pays zero. Plaintiff is the fool for having paid litigation cost. A criminal record has become a matter of pride for how many times one gets away without punishment. Lawyers, in particular, ignore the courts and it’s nearly impossible to get a crooked one disbarred. It’s not crime without punishment.

    Is this the Wild West? Keep it in court and appeal. The sod busters don’t have a chance versus legal cowboys. Especially when there’s a hired gun keeping judges busy with paperwork and irrelevant arguments.

  4. The Guy From Guernsey on September 18, 2023 at 1:16 pm said:

    Well, af least it would seem that Pfeifle acknowledged that the opinion of the AG supercedes that of the City Attorney.
    “Competent legal mind” is not among the qualifications Pfeifle brings to service as City Attorney.
    Good on the former AG to correct Pfeifle.

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