UPDATE: So I guess the institute may still exist, in a charming Ranch style home. But I still can’t find any tax filings. The worst part is when you start doing searches on the internet for the place the ‘Institutes of Health Ethics, etc., comes up.

Whenever I open up the city council agenda for the following week on Friday night, I always take a deep breath before reading it. This week there was some gasps.

Besides the fact city councilors want to hire another employee (even though several of their current employees job duties are a mystery) and they want to get rid of taxi fare maximums (I thought we solved this when Lyft and Uber came to town?) the mayor has appointed former police chief Matt Burns to be on the ethics commission.

I know. WTF?

But the funny part is Mr. Burns BIO (Item #74);

• Sioux Falls Chief of Police 2015–2021.

• Bachelor of Science in criminal justice administration from the University of Central

• Certified instructor—National Institute of Ethics.

I am not sure how you become a certified Instructor with an organization that hasn’t filed a tax filing since 2012(?) and no longer exists? I called the number, out of service.

Maybe I got the organization wrong? Or maybe they merged with another organization, but when you do a search, the last tax filing was in 2012. So how is it you are a certified instructor with an organization that disbanded 11 years ago?

I’m not sure you understand ‘ETHICS’ Mr. Burns;

Ethics examines the rational justification for our moral judgments; it studies what is morally right or wrong, just or unjust.

So is it ETHICAL to lie on your resume for a volunteer public service position? Maybe I should ask a certified instructor? If only there was an organization that still trains them.

You know, I won many animal showmanship awards when I was in 4-H, maybe I should put that on my resume? Doesn’t matter I haven’t been a member of the Country Wranglers for 30 years, I really knew how to stage a ewe!

Do I think he is lying about being an instructor? NO. But he should clarify what century he was an instructor.

Even the white lie on the resume isn’t the worst part about this BAAAAAAAAD appointment (sorry, sheep humor) it’s his conflict of interest being a former manger with the city of Sioux Falls. How can you judge your former peers on ethics when you have built professional relationships with these folks over several years?

It would be like your significant other asking if their butt looks big in a certain pair of pants.

Conflicts of interest are the main reason we have ethics commissions, to help us determine what is ethically doable within those relationships.

I’m not even going to blame Mr. Burns for accepting this appointment, desperate times.

But it makes you wonder if the reputation of city hall is getting so bad Poops is appointing former managers just to fill the seats of these boards?

You have to scratch your head a bit when in one breath you name a police shooting range after a dude then in the next breath ask him to be on the ethics board.

10 Thoughts on “UPDATE: Looks like former Sioux Falls Police Chief is padding his resume

  1. Very Stable Genius on November 6, 2023 at 7:44 pm said:

    The address is a residential home:


    Many businesses are run out of homes, but usually not National Institutes.

    ( and Woodstock adds: “Yah, but, Austads started in a residential basement”… 🙂 )

  2. So did Sullivans! LOL.

    Thanks for finding this, it still doesn’t look Kosher. And having the Institute of Ethics home office in Missouri is like hosting a surfing tournament in North Dakota.

    It reminds me of when I rented an apartment over off of Cliff and 4th Street. My roommate and I looked at the place and we liked it, so the landlord (who lives in the building) says to come to his ‘office’ in his apartment to fill out the lease, etc. We get in there and he has a card table and 3 card table chairs in the middle of his kitchen floor and he says ‘This is my office’. We laughed all the home in the car cracking jokes about his office. He was a strange duck, one time I came home and my roommate has a weird look on his face standing in the kitchen and he says, “Did you wrap the burner plates on the stove with foil?” I’m like ‘No’. We figured out that the landlord told us to do this when we moved in and we did not, and he came into our apartment while we were working and did it himself. We asked him about it and he denied it and ran down the hall. I asked my roommate, “Did he also take out the garbage and clean the toilet?”

  3. Old Airman on November 6, 2023 at 9:37 pm said:

    I’m guessing given his background and training commensurate with the positions he held in the City that its likely he attained this earlier in his career. Just because the Institute closed doesn’t make it a ‘white lie”.
    The position is a volunteer position and seems to make sense as he is obviously very qualified and probably just wants to contribute to the city that employed him for many years. It looks like they meet quarterly and the members are former Government (auditor/Judge) employees.

  4. You are correct, he wasn’t lying, as I pointed out;

    “Do I think he is lying about being an instructor? NO. But he should clarify what century he was an instructor.”

    Do you folks read my entire posts or just the headlines and comments? I think I know the answer.

  5. Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on November 6, 2023 at 10:42 pm said:

    I especially like it when they put on a different hat before they sit down at their card table, or office I mean. It makes it look a lot more official:



  6. Further Fear & Loathing on November 6, 2023 at 10:43 pm said:

    Imagine a mother-in-law who is also a landlord. I think that could be the ultimate experience. #TinFoilLady

  7. Fearing the Fuhrer & More on November 6, 2023 at 11:04 pm said:

    Missouri is actually known for their ethics. That’s why they call themselves the “Show Me State”. They are really big into transparency. They also have Branson, where the show must go on. So, they like to perform out in the open (I also used to know a woman from Missouri like that, but that’s a story for another day.) Truman is from Missouri, too, and he always liked to give ’em hell, which is a sign of truth or speaking truth to power. Yes, Missouri is very ethical and they used to always vote for the winning presidential candidate, too, until Obama came along. Yep, Obama messed it up for the Big Mo, but because of their ethics they just weren’t going to sway the election to a black man to make them look like winners once again; but which reminds me, isn’t Senator Hawley from Missouri, too, and didn’t he show on January 6th some fist pumping support to some insurrectionists who were off in the distance on Capitol Hill? (:-() #WhatKindOfEthicsIsThat?….:


  8. Sick of Fearing on November 6, 2023 at 11:32 pm said:

    Wait a minute, that’s Mississippi and not Missouri. But what does Mississippi know about ethics? Because, they didn’t even ratify the 13th Amendment to end slavery until 1995…. Heck, you would have thought they would have at least done it right after the Civil Rights Act was pass in 1964…..

  9. I have an off-topic question and I apologize for it. Does anyone know why the front desk at the police department/public safety building is staffed by police officers? Usually in civilian clothes. I’m curious if officers are required to staff the desk and a rotation is set up. Or if it’s manned by officers who are disciplined for misconduct or some other transgression.

  10. The Guy From Guernsey on November 13, 2023 at 9:01 am said:

    No better candidate for a toothless, Do Nothing commission than Milquetoast Matt , only seated to utter the words, “Nothing to see here folks. Move along.”

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