In a brief news release issued Friday morning, Secretary of State Jason Gant announced that an embattled employee has resigned.

"Pat Powers has resigned from his duties in the South Dakota Secretary of State's Office to spend more time with his children and pursue business opportunities in the private sector," reads the release. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank Pat for his efforts in helping modernize this Office and advancing the common goal of making it more transparent."

Powers had become the target of an investigation, prompted by a detailed written complaint from state state Sen. Stan Adelstein, R-Rapid City, a longtime foe of Powers. The bad blood between the two men dates back to Powers' time running the conservative Dakota War College blog.

Adelstein had sought an investigation by the attorney general into Powers' running of an online campaign store, offering to help political candidates, while also working in the Secretary of State's Office. That office runs the state's elections.