LRC director Fry resigns ahead of critical report

The director of the South Dakota Legislature’s staff resigned Wednesday ahead of a report calling for changes in his office.

James Fry had led the Legislative Research Council since 2000.

His resignation was accepted by the Legislature’s Executive Board on a party-line vote. The Democratic minority on the board voted to reject Fry’s resignation offer, while the Republican majority voted to accept it.

The resignation came minutes before the National Conference of State Legislatures presented a review of the LRC that discussed discontent with the LRC among Republican lawmakers and called for changes.

"Trust has declined, frankly… between certain cohorts of the membership and… between leaders and the LRC," said Brian Weberg of the NCSL.

Weberg’s study found “a cultural divide… between the traditions of the LRC, many of which are very important to uphold, and the expectations of a different kind of member, brought in largely because of term limits.”

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