Judge rules against SD teenager in 4-H scandalA federal judge has ruled that a South Dakota teenager embroiled in a 4-H cheating scandal is not entitled to monetary damages in her case against two 4-H administrators.
By: Associated Press,
WHITE LAKE, S.D. — A federal judge has ruled that a South Dakota teenager embroiled in a 4-H cheating scandal is not entitled to monetary damages in her case against two 4-H administrators.
However, U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier left intact a previously granted injunction allowing Bayley Kroupa to continue to compete.
Kroupa, of White Lake, was barred from participating in 4-H in 2011, when she was 16, after a 4-H ethics commission determined she cheated in a State Fair competition by showing a pig different from one she had showed at the Brule County Fair. The ethics commission believes the pig, which won a reserve champion award in South Dakota, was actually a champion swine from Missouri.
Kroupa’s family denied cheating and sued for $850,000, saying she had been humiliated and denied due process.
Schreier said the two 4-H officials named as plaintiffs — Rod Geppert, who was then a Brule County 4-H representative, and Peter Nielsen, a 4-H youth development official — could not have been expected to view their actions as depriving Kroupa of her constitutional rights.
Kroupa “has failed to carry her burden of proof that her right to ... procedural due process was clearly established,” Schreier said in her ruling issued Wednesday.
Attorney Gary Thimsen, who is representing Geppert and Nielson, said his clients are “very pleased with the ruling.”
Rollyn Samp, who represents the Kroupas, hailed as a victory the fact that Schreier left intact a previously granted injunction against Kroupa’s participation. The 18-year-old will be eligible to participate in 4-H until she is 19 next September.
“She’ll get to continue to compete,” Samp said.