Brookings jail case headed to South Dakota Supreme Court

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KJJQ) – The City of Brookings is taking it’s case against Brookings County to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

In March, a circuit court judge ruled in favor of Brookings County and said a $15.5 million jail expansion may move forward. He ruled the City of Brookings was mistaken in its judgement and the county is not required to obtain a building permit from the city for a jail. He says counties are required by law to establish and maintain jails.

A brief press release¬† from the City indicates they will appeal. It says the City “has determined additional consideration needs to be given to the issues and the applicable historic review procedure.”

The state Historical Society and local Historic Preservation Commission oppose the expansion, saying it would “encroach upon, damage, or destroy” the historic property.

Brookings County Sheriff Marty Stanwick says he’s disappointed.

Stanwick says the jail should be built by now and it would have included an isolation cell and more space, something they could sorely use in this pandemic.

City Attorney Steve Briztman says the decision to appeal did not require further public comment or a Council vote since it is a continuation of a legal challenge already approved by the Council.

Brookings Mayor Keith Corbett says he cannot comment because it’s a pending legal matter.

According to Britzman, so far, the legal challenge has cost the city just over $38,000.