A former State Attorney has filed nominating petitions to run for the office in Lake County. Aaron McGowan previously served as State’s Attorney for Minnehaha County from 2009 until he resigned in 2019. A report in October of that year by the Attorney General, showed that McGowan had been absent from the Minnehaha State’s Attorney Office for nearly three months. The Attorney General report stated McGowan claimed he was on medical leave, but said the investigation was unable to verify where McGowan was during the time he was absent from the office.


That report also included interviews with members of the Minnehaha State’s Attorney Office, some of whom said that McGowan’s absence was a regular occurrence. Some also said that McGowan would ask employees to bring alcohol to his house when they were working during regular business hours, and that he was, at times, too inebriated to drive to work and would ask employees to bring him to the office. McGowan denied that allegation. 


During the interviews, members of the office stated that a female employee asked McGowan for the day off after a trial and he agreed, provided that she brought a bottle of alcohol and he could come to her residence and drink it. That female employee said that McGowan came to her residence for a few hours and made her feel uncomfortable at times, before leaving on a bicycle. 


McGowan resigned as Minnehaha State’s Attorney in December of 2019, saying that he believed it was in the best interest of the office and his family to tender his resignation. 


The mailing address for McGowan on the Secretary of State’s website, is listed as an apartment in Sioux Falls. McGowan would need to move to Lake County if he were to be elected. 


Current Lake County State’s Attorney Wendy Kloeppner (Klep-ner) has been in the position since being appointed in 2018. She was elected later that year, and again in 2020. The lake county primary election between the two candidates will be held on June 4th.