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Former highway superintendent accused of embezzlement

August 27, 2021 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A former Minnehaha County highway superintendent has been indicted by a grand jury on an embezzlement charge.

According to the indictment announced Friday by the Brooking County state’s attorney, Duane Buthe is accused of embezzling more than $100,000 from the South Dakota Association of County Highway Superintendents between 2013 and 2021. Buthe served as the association’s secretary.

The 41-year-old Buthe is currently the public works director in Brookings. A call to his office and an email seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Buthe served as the highway superintendent in Minnehaha County for 10 years before taking the job in Brookings earlier this year. Prior to his job in Minnehaha County he had been a project manager with the city of Sioux Falls.

State’s Attorney Dan Nelson said Buthe is accused of using the association’s fund for personal retail transactions, cash withdrawals and other misappropriations.

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“The SDACHS is funded mostly by the hard working taxpayers of South Dakota,” Nelson said in a statement. “Counties across South Dakota pay thousands of dollars to support the training and education of their highway superintendents. If you’ve paid county taxes in South Dakota during this period, you’ve been impacted by this crime.”

In May, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation opened an investigation into Buthe’s involvement with the association.

The indictment was returned by a Minnehaha County grand jury.