- Associated Press - Thursday, December 27, 2018

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota Gov.-elect Kristi Noem is appointing a county sheriff to serve as the secretary of the state Department of Corrections.

The incoming Republican governor said Thursday that Michael Leidholt will be named to the post. Leidholt has been Hughes County sheriff for 24 years and has been in law enforcement since 1975.

Noem says she’s thrilled to work with Leidholt to broaden correctional options, cut the likelihood of repeat offenders and keep victims at the justice system’s center. Leidholt says the state must improve its systems to avert crime and strengthen parole, rehabilitation and re-entry programs.

Noem will be sworn in Jan. 5.

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