PIERRE, S.D. – Sen. Dan Sutton, D-Flandreau, resigned from his current term Monday less than two weeks before a special session of the Senate is scheduled to look into allegations Sutton sexually groped a high school student who served as a Senate page in the last legislative session.
However, in a letter sent to Gov. Mike Rounds, Sutton said he is not resigning from the term that begins in January. Sutton last week won re-election with 57 percent of the vote.
One of Sutton's lawyers, Patrick Duffy of Rapid City, said Sutton's resignation means the special session set for Nov. 27 will not be held.
Duffy said Sutton does not want a lame-duck Senate led by some of Sutton's political enemies to judge him. The new Senate seated in January can decide the issue, Duffy said.
"My client will be back in Pierre in 2007 to carry out the will of his constituents who, knowing of all the allegations that have been made here, voted him in," Duffy said.
Sutton has not made any public comments since the allegation was publicly revealed several weeks before the election. But another lawyer representing Sutton, Mike Butler of Sioux Falls, has said Sutton has done nothing wrong.