South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem names fifth chief of staff


SIOUX FALLS (AP) – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem's chief of staff is leaving, the fourth person to exit the position in three years, the governor's office said Friday.

Noem's chief of staff Aaron Scheibe will move back to a role as an outside consultant advising on federal funds for coronavirus relief, according to an email obtained by The Associated Press. He worked as the Republican governor's chief of staff for just under seven months.

“The ARPA funds are going to be a major discussion point during the legislative session, and the Governor wants as much expertise as possible supporting each of you,” Noem’s interim chief of staff, Mark Miller, wrote in the email to top state officials.

Noem's spokesman Ian Fury confirmed the email, but did not comment further.

Miller previously worked as Noem's general counsel, specializing in legislation and litigation to restrict abortions. He is the fifth person to take on the role of chief of staff. Noem, who has positioned herself for a White House bid in 2024, has seen regular turnover of top staff since she became governor in 2019.

Her office previously described each of those departures as amicable.

Noem's longest-serving chief of staff, Tony Venhuizen, left the role in April after working in her office for just over a year. Another top aide, Joshua Shields, held the role for three months, while her first chief of staff, Herb Jones, worked in the office for nine months.

Last month, her head of finance, Liza Clark, also announced she would leave the governor's office. She had played a central role in administering an unprecedented influx of federal funding during the pandemic. Jeff Partridge, a former state lawmaker and financial advisor in Rapid City, will take over Liza's role on an interim basis.

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