PIERRE, S.D. (AP) -- The two men who headed the South Dakota Highway Patrol in Bill Janklow's last two terms as governor said Friday they never ordered troopers to give Janklow immunity from speeding tickets.
Former Highway Patrol Superintendent Gene Abdallah said that since Janklow was involved in a fatal crash Aug. 16, he has had heard persistent rumors that troopers were under orders not to give Janklow tickets when he was governor in 1995-2002. Those rumors are nonsense, Abdallah said.
"I never ever said anything like that to anybody," said Abdallah, who retired as head of the Highway Patrol in 1999 and is now a state senator.
State Public Safety Secretary Tom Dravland, who headed the Highway Patrol from 1999 until early this year, said it's possible state troopers and other law officers gave Janklow breaks after stopping him for speeding. But officers were never told not to give Janklow tickets, he said.
"There has been no order saying do not write Governor Janklow, do not write this person, do not write that person," Dravland said.
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