LRC releases redacted copy of LRC staffer’s complaint against Sen. Frye-Mueller

The South Dakota Legislative Research Council on Monday released a redacted copy of the complaint an LRC employee filed against Republican Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller of Rapid City.

In the letter, the woman employee noted what started as a meeting to discuss pending legislation with Sen. Frye-Mueller and her husband, Mike Mueller, a lobbyist, turned into a tearful lecture that the staffer should not vaccinate her baby.

Sen. Frye-Mueller also asked the state employee if she was breastfeeding. The LRC staff member said no, she couldn’t. According to the woman’s complaint, Sen. Frye-Mueller then proceeded to tell her what she could do to help that.

The complaint said Sen. Frye-Mueller became tearful and warned the woman that “you can’t vaccinate your child anymore.”

The conversation occurred on the afternoon of January 24th in the LRC offices.

The Senate Select Committee on Discipline and Expulsion had its first meeting Monday evening, taking an oath and setting up procedures.  The meeting lasted just over seven minutes.

Republican Sen. David Wheeler from Huron, the committee’s chair, said he hoped to balance the due process rights of Sen. Frye-Mueller, the privacy rights of the employee bringing the complaint, thoroughness, speediness, and the reputation of the Senate.

Committee members had to take an additional oath that they would act impartially.

The hearings will be open to the public except when the state employee testifies. 

The committee is scheduled to meet today again at 5:00 in the state capitol. 


 (SDBA) — Suspended Republican state Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller of Rapid City says she was given no notice about her suspension, and the move has disenfranchised the voters in District 30.
Her district is much of Rapid City and the surrounding area.
Sen. Frye-Mueller filed a lawsuit Monday in Federal District Court in Pierre to reinstate her and prevent any further action against her pending Senate proceedings against her.
Former Republican Rep. Steven Haugaard from Sioux Falls represents Frye-Mueller.
In the request for expedited proceedings, Haugaard says the Senate action violates her free speech rights.
He also alleges that the Senate’s action violated her due process rights.
The suspension occurred last week after a Legislative Research Council member filed a complaint about her conversation with Sen. Frye-Mueller.
January 31, 2023
(Thanks, Todd Epp, SDBA Legislative Reporter)