Retired LEO appointed by South Dakota governor to Senate seat

Mike Walsh served as president of the South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police.

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RAPID CITY, S.D. – A retired member of law enforcement, Mike Walsh, was appointed by South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem to the District 35 Senate seat that was vacated last summer.

Walsh replaces Jessica Castleberry, who resigned in August 2023 due to a conflict of interest over her business receiving COVID funds, KOTA reported.

Walsh served in the U.S. Marine Corps followed by a 20-year career with the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office. He fulfilled various roles with MCSO that included captain and polygraph examiner before moving to the Black Hills following his retirement from law enforcement, according to The Dakota Scout

As a second career, Walsh continued with his skills and operates a polygraph examiners business. Now he’ll enter the world of politics.

“Throughout my professional life, I have been inspired by a belief that government exists solely to benefit the lives of citizens,” Walsh said. “I bring to this role a well-rounded background in public service, including years of experience in both law enforcement and the United States Marine Corps, my chairmanship of a regional nonprofit, and relationships with local government.”

Walsh has also served as president of the South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police. He told The Dakota Scout he will resign from the FOP in order to avoid any perception of conflict, and he intends to begin as a lawmaker this week.

“I intend to be out there Wednesday to jump right in,” said Walsh. “This district not having anyone there for the first four weeks of session has not been beneficial so I want to get out there and get to work right away.”

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