I have read everything being made available to the public – several times.
I've consulted with several attorneys. And, here are some conclusions...
1.) FACT: There is nothing that I can find in South Dakota's Codified Laws permitting a City Council to punish (censure) one of its members for anything short of bribery or disorderly conduct.
2.) FACT: There are no South Dakota Supreme Court decisions on the matter.
3.) FACT: Alderman Kooiker is not accused of either bribery or disorderly conduct. He is accused of asking questions.
4.) MY OPINION (and I'm not a lawyer): Mr. Kooiker's rights to due process have been violated, as have his First Amendment rights of free speech.
5.) FACT: The City Council has spent around 17,000 taxpayer dollars investigating Mr. Kooiker's use of email to obtain answers to questions raised by city employees and constituents.
6.) FACT: The individual making the complaint submitted as evidence of Mr. Kooiker's harassment of him, fewer than 20 emails sent from Mr. Kooiker to him in the last seven years. Each of them has been cordial and professional.
7.) FACT: The censure resolution has surfaced fewer than 30 days prior to the time Mr. Kooiker will be taking out petitions to place his name on the ballot for re-election.
8.) MY OBSERVATION: The mayor and some members of the council have made it no secret they do not appreciate the alderman from Ward 2 poking around their wasteful spending.
9.) FACT: Mr. Kooiker first asked for an accounting of the discarded Transit brochures back in September of 2009 and has still not received a straight answer.
10.) FACT: The invoices provided to Mr. Kooiker are invoices from the printing companies to Robert Sharp & Associates, a Rapid City advertising agency retained to conceive, design and print the brochures and signs in question. They are NOT invoices from Robert Sharp & Associates to the City. The invoices provided to Mr. Kooiker do not represent the TRUE costs of the brochures. They do not include Robert Sharp & Associates costs.
10a.) MY OPINION: The release of the printing companies' invoices to Robert Sharp & Associates represent a concerted effort by someone to deceive Mr. Kooiker and the public.
11.) MY OPINION: The resolution of censure is a political effort to smear Mr. Kooiker's excellent reputation, in an attempt to discourage him from running for re-election now, and/or for mayor next year.
12.) MY OPINION: There are several individuals who have an interest in discouraging Mr. Kooiker from running for re-election or for mayor. They know who they are. And, so does everyone else.
13.) MY OPINION: There is no percentage in telling those people they should be ashamed of themselves. They have demonstrated before, and now again, they have no shame.