Senator Julie Frye-Mueller files lawsuit over Senate suspension
PIERRE – State Senator Julie Frye-Mueller (R-District 30) filed a lawsuit Monday in Federal District Court in Pierre in response to the complaint against her. Frye-Mueller is asking to be reinstated as the State Senator from District 30 and also asks that no further action is taken against her.
Frye-Mueller, whose district covers much of Rapid City and the surrounding area, says she was given no notice about her suspension, and the move has disenfranchised the 25,000 residents in District 30. Frye-Mueller contends that “by being barred from the Senate Committees, Senate Floor, Legislative Research Council, and Legislative email, Frye-Mueller and the citizens of District 30 permanently lose any opportunity to draft and propose legislation, obtain sponsors of Bills, and communicate with constituents, legislators, and interested parties about the Bills and related issues.”
Former Republican State Representative Steven Haugaard from Sioux Falls represents Frye-Mueller. In the request for expedited proceedings, Haugaard says the Senate action violates Frye-Mueller’s free speech rights and due process rights.
The suspension occurred last week after a Legislative Research Council member filed a complaint about her conversation with Sen. Frye-Mueller. The redacted complaint released by the Senate can be viewed here.
The first meeting of the Select Committee on Discipline and Expulsion was this Monday afternoon after the Senate adjourned.