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The Latest: Lawmaker glad to see investigative panel ended

February 26, 2018

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The Latest on a disbanded House investigation into a South Dakota representative (all times local):

5:26 p.m.

South Dakota state Rep. David Johnson says he was ready and willing to cooperate with a special House committee established to investigate his conduct, but he’s glad that it has been dissolved.

House members voted 64-1 Monday to disband a special committee on discipline and expulsion established just days earlier to investigate Johnson’s actions toward Rep. Lynne DiSanto.

DiSanto asked lawmakers to dissolve the panel, saying she has accepted a personal apology from Johnson.

Republican Rep. Dan Kaiser, one lawmaker who moved to form the panel, said Friday that DiSanto and two witnesses told him Johnson approached DiSanto loudly and made her fear being assaulted last week.

Johnson says he and DiSanto are looking forward to effectively working together in the future on a professional and friendly basis.

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4:50 p.m.

South Dakota’s attorney general says state authorities are “reviewing” allegations that a state representative made a colleague fearful for her safety last week at the Capitol.

Attorney General Marty Jackley said in a statement that the Highway Patrol requested the Division of Criminal Investigation’s assistance in the matter.

But Jackley noted South Dakota’s constitution says that lawmakers in all cases except “treason, felony or breach of the peace,” are privileged from arrest during the legislative session.

House members voted 64-1 Monday to disband a special committee on discipline and expulsion established just days earlier to investigate Rep. David Johnson’s conduct toward Rep. Lynne DiSanto.

The confrontation occurred Wednesday evening on the House floor.

DiSanto asked lawmakers to dissolve the committee, saying she has accepted a personal apology from Johnson. But DiSanto says Johnson’s behavior was “unacceptable and unprofessional.”

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3 p.m.

The South Dakota House has ended an investigation into Republican state Rep. David Johnson at the request of a lawmaker who said he made her fear for her safety last week.

House members voted 64-1 Monday to disband a special committee on discipline and expulsion established just days earlier to investigate Johnson’s conduct toward GOP Rep. Lynne DiSanto.

DiSanto said she has accepted a personal apology from Johnson.

Johnson said his emotions got the better of him during a public apology Friday on the House floor.

The confrontation occurred Wednesday evening on the House floor. DiSanto says Johnson’s behavior was “unacceptable and unprofessional,” calling it a scary event for her.

Johnson owns a tree care company and was first elected to the House in 2016.

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10:03 a.m.

South Dakota Rep. Lynne DiSanto says she forgives a colleague who will be investigated by a special House panel over a confrontation she said made her fear for her safety.

DiSanto writes on Facebook that she’s accepted a private apology from Rep. David Johnson. He also apologized publicly Friday, saying his emotions got the better of him.

The confrontation occurred Wednesday evening on the House floor.

House lawmakers established a committee on discipline and expulsion to investigate Johnson.

Rep. Timothy Johns, committee chairman, says the panel plans to meet Wednesday. Johns says he wants members to be able to see video footage of the confrontation.

A state agency spokesman cited an exemption in public records law in denying The Associated Press access to the House chamber’s security footage.

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