South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) is coming under fire after it was discovered that the businesses of her family members were given $600,000 in COVID-19 funds from a state grant program pushed by her.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that out of the 126 businesses across South Dakota, only five were given grants of $500,000, including a ranch owned by the Noem family.
The business, which is run by Noem's brothers Rock and Robb Arnold, got the full amount after their sister expanded the amount.
"The Legislature approved the grant plan in October, but the family businesses benefitted from adjustments the Republican governor made," said the AP. "The plan initially capped grants at $100,000, but later in the month, with plentiful federal funds at their disposal, Noem's administration adjusted the grant cap to $500,000. The governor also later opened up a second round of grant applications to businesses hurt by the pandemic from September to November."
The report said that there is no evidence that Noem was part of the decision to give the Noem family the funds.
The Noem family is refusing to answer questions about the grant or provide their financial statements for transparency.