- Associated Press - Friday, October 24, 2014

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A state official says there was no conflict of interest in a vote taken by a member of a state development board.

Rob Skjonsberg (SHONS-berg) is on the Board of Economic Development. The Nation publication reported this week that Skjonsberg twice voted in favor of extending a permit for Novita LLC, a business that works with corn oil.

The Nation reported Skjonsberg’s firm Lake Sharpe Investments holds investments in Novita through a private equity firm. Democrats had called on Gov. Dennis Daugaard to dismiss Skjonsberg from the board.

Board Commissioner J. Pat Costello says a state attorney reviewed the matter, and decided there wasn’t a conflict of interest because Skjonsberg didn’t have a “direct financial interest” in Novita.

Skjonsberg is serving as campaign manager for GOP Senate candidate Mike Rounds.

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