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House declines to form panel to investigate rep’s residency

January 15, 2019

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota representatives have declined to form a special committee to look into allegations that a House Democrat from Pine Ridge didn’t meet state residency requirements to get elected.

The House on Tuesday voted 62-5 against establishing the panel to investigate Rep. Peri Pourier. Republican Rep. Steve Livermont, who sought the committee, asked for support so lawmakers could “get to the truth.”

House Minority Leader Jamie Smith “strongly” objected to the push, saying he had no doubt Pourier met residency requirements.

The move comes after two Republicans sought to stop Pourier and Democratic Sen. Red Dawn Foster from being sworn in to office.

The GOP lawmakers contended there’s evidence Pourier and Foster weren’t state residents for two years before their election, a constitutional requirement.

Republican leaders dismissed the allegations against the Democrats last week.

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