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Benda attorney: ‘I did not imagine he would take his life’

By Bob Mercer

Capitol Correspondent

Richard Benda’s attorney, Mike Butler, of Sioux Falls, issued a statement Friday night in response to a reporter’s requests:

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“Richard consulted with me after he became aware that he was being investigated for alleged wrong-doing in connection with (Northern Beef).

“I had discussions with law enforcement authorities and was more than confident that the allegations were political, not criminal.

“Richard was a private man. He was angry and upset. He dreaded the publicity of being accused and the consequences of it.

“I did not imagine he would take his life. He spoke of the love of his daughter and how this would impact her.

“Richard was a great public servant and father and friend to many.”