Guilty Plea in Prank Call Case Using SD Governor's Number

Ex-reporter Austin Goss made a phone call from Gov. Kristi Noem's cell phone
By Steve Huff,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2023 4:30 PM CDT
Man in South Dakota Governor Prank Call Case Pleads Guilty
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem takes part in a panel discussion, Nov. 15, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. A broadcast reporter has been charged with making a prank phone call using Noem’s personal cell phone number.   (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

Austin Goss, a 26-year-old former reporter with Dakota News Now, pleaded guilty Tuesday to disorderly conduct, reports the Argus Leader. In doing so, he copped to using South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem's personal cell number to make a prank call to South Dakota's former Republican Party chair, Dan Lederman, in January 2023. Goss will pay court fees and fines of $570. He got off easy, however—the young journalist initially faced a more serious misdemeanor harassment charge.

Goss' attorney, Jason Glodt, issued a statement to the Argus Leader saying in part that Goss only intended to pull a practical joke and "wants to apologize to the law enforcement officers who devoted limited resources to the matter," noting that his client had contacted Gov. Noem and Lederman. Goss reportedly didn't speak himself during the January call but used "Mafia Guy Got Vaccines," a pre-made prank call found on Authorities were able to pinpoint Goss's IP address as the source of the call.

After the call happened in January, the AP reports Gov. Noem asked the US Attorney General and several federal legislative committees to look into a leak that publicized her family's personal information. Neither Goss, who was fired from his reporting job after the prank came to light, nor Governor Noem would comment on the plea when contacted by CBS News.
(More Kristi Noem stories.)

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