FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : Friday, August 08, 2014
CONTACT: Sara Rabern (605)773-3215
Independent Investigation Conducted on Former Advocate Shirley Schwab’s Complaint
PIERRE, S.D – Attorney General Marty Jackley confirms that a complaint filed by former court advocate Shirley Schwab was forwarded to the Attorney General's Office by a states attorney based upon a conflict of interest. Because Ms. Schwab's complaint included a different states attorney and a former DCI agent, the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) was requested to both review the complaint and conduct any necessary independent investigation. Ms. Schwab's complaint arises from the prosecutions of Richard Mette, Shirley Schwab and Brandon Taliaferro, none of which were prosecuted by the South Dakota Attorney General's Office. Richard Mette has been convicted of rape and is serving a 15 year prison sentence. Former South Dakota Special Agent Mark Black's employment has been terminated, and he is appealing that decision. Brandon Taliaferro's employment was terminated by the Brown County States Attorney. Ms. Schwab is now a former advocate for the courts.
The ND BCI is not recommending any criminal action based upon its review and investigation. Ms. Schwab may further pursue her complaint with another prosecuting jurisdiction or her former employer.
"Cases involving and protecting children are significant and sensitive. Our justice system and ultimately child protection depends, no matter how well intended, that individuals with authority conduct themselves appropriately and within the rules. When they do not, even if it does not rise to the level of criminal conduct, it should and has not been tolerated," said Jackley.