Get Out of Town, Darrel Viereck!

A few days ago, I was chatting with a friend who works at one of the local television stations that is not KELO. We were chatting about various news stories and local controversies when he launched into a story about a certain local real estate tycoon.
A day or two before our chat, this developer had done something considered a little unusual for a non-politician. He had called a news conference, and after a little debate the station decided to go check it out. They assumed that he had called the media to discuss the compromise he had helped broker in the future southern expansion of Kiwanis Avenue.
My contact told me that when the reporter returned to the station, he sort of shook his head when asked if anything newsworthy had come out of this press conference. “You won’t believe what happened,” he sighed.
It was Darrel Viereck who had called this meeting, and it wasn’t about Kiwanis Avenue. Viereck had a piece of land he wanted to donate to the school system, but there was a catch. He basically wants control of the Washington High School basketball program.
I can’t believe the balls of this man. First of all, he claims that this piece of land, which surrounds the southern half of Lincoln High School, is worth over $200,000. No frickin’ way. It’s junk land that has absolutely zero potential of being developed. It’s way too narrow for any sort of retail or residential development, even if it’s zoned for this use (which I doubt). There are also potential problems with run-off from melting snow and/or heavy rains. The only possible use would be to slightly expand the Lincoln High parking lots, or maybe enlarge the practice fields in the back.
More troubling, however, is that he truly believes that the school board would even consider undergoing an investigation just to acquire this piece of property. Maybe in his world he can make these sorts of deals, but how can anybody believe that it’s ethical to involve individuals and their future employment in the process of exchanging property? I’m shocked that even a sleazy real estate guy would even consider such an arrangement.
Not that there aren’t problems with the Washington boy’s basketball program. I’ve talked to some students at the school, and many people are not happy with head coach James Trett. Nobody would go into specifics beyond a bad attitude, but there are reportedly a number of exceptional players that have dropped out of the program.
That’s not the point, however. If there are legitimate concerns about the future of the basketball program, those with concerns must go through the proper channels. Viereck claims that he has made unsuccessful attempts to discuss the situation with the school, but I have a feeling that his problem is that he’s just not getting his way as rapidly as a big shot like him expects. Poor baby.
This isn’t the first time that Viereck’s name has been involved in controversy. Earlier this year, he was one of seemingly 10,000 people who put their name in the Mayor’s race. Yet without warning he withdrew from candidate forums and wouldn’t even allow himself to be interviewed by the daily paper or local TV stations. How the hell did he expect to win? (I was told, however, that he was involved in a lawsuit that was supposed to be resolved before the election. If that’s the case, though, he should have just withdrawn from the race.)
His name also came up a couple of years ago when it was discovered that former Governor Bill Janklow had pardoned an high number of people in his final days in office. Viereck had been involved in an embarrassing scandal in the early 80’s that involved a number of local big-wigs who were accused of using cocaine. Eight high-profile residents were subjects of a grand-jury investigation, and Viereck was arrested and charged with eight counts of felony cocaine distribution and one count of keeping a place where drugs were present. Viereck ultimately pleaded guilty to the lesser charge in exchange for the dismissal of the distribution charges. He served 76 days in the pen, and 36 days on the prison farm.
Viereck reportedly immediately began pleading for clemency, often sending Janklow humorous cards with “pardon me” in the greeting. At the time, Janklow told him that he would not give pardons to those still on probation. When Janklow returned to office almost a decade later, Viereck resumed his pardon requests…this time successfully.
Obviously, Viereck has had an extremely successful career since this embarrassing period of his life. He’s one of a handful of city big shots who somehow ends up being a part of every big deal that goes on in this city. It seems to me that his arrogance has grown in a direct parallel to his bank balance. I’m just happy that somebody has finally had the nerve to tell Mr. Viereck a word he probably hasn’t heard in quite some time – “get lost”.


Anonymous said…
If I were the media, and showed up to this 'press conference' I would have never reported it. I would have called all the other media sources and told them also not to report it. Even though I had to chuckle when they showed the clip of this FREE land! It looked like some rutt filled county road.

Detroit Lewis
Anonymous said…
I wanna party with Darrel!!1!
Anonymous said…
I question how you obtained some of your information, who would discuss this with you, how they know...and the fact that an employee of Kelo is giving out the details to you regarding this and whatever else they may divulge, would lead one to think it would jeopordize their job. Perhaps I will have a chance to elaborate later but for now I will leave with a *tsk tsk* and "bite your tongue".
Scott said…
It's sort of funny that you're questioning my methods on the most researched post I've ever printed. First of all, I made it clear in the first sentence that it wasn't a KELO employee that I spoke to, and the person in question did not divulge any information outside of their in-house skepticism (sp?). All facts involving the land scheme has been reported on not only all three TV stations but also the daily paper. The Argus story is not on their website, but I did have the print copy. The details of his conviction and pardon are also public record. In fact, I withheld some of the more tawdry details of the early 80's cocaine controversy because of the questionable memories of not only myself but other non-media members that I discussed this issue with.
As for the allegations against the Washington High coaches, I spoke with three students and one parent. Interestingly, those people don't agree with my assessment of the Viereck controversy. They levelled even more serious charges against the coaches, but there's no way that I would print those without some sort of verification. Viereck's complaints are included in the media reports.
So "Apock", I must ask what exactly do you find at fault in my piece? You may not agree with my opinion, but are any of my facts wrong? Please indicate the errors, and I'll be happy to edit the piece.
Anonymous said…
Hey Apock-

Journalists are protected by the first amendment. And BTW, Scott is right, everything he said in his column has already been on all the TV stations. Scott 'editorializing' about Darrlick is simply his opinion, even though I do agree - D. V. is a big f u c k ing baby!

Anonymous said…
of course, none of the stations or argus did any follow up, or even tried to see what the problem at washington is. maybe the kid that runs the sdsu student paper would have enough balls to do that, since he took on the board of regents, and won when all the sioux falls media would do is whine they couldnt cover the sdsu president candidates interview story.
Anonymous said…
I'll have to agree with Dick Shine, where was the follow up? Maybe because there is no problem with the coach? He probably is just a hard-ass. My first wrestling coach was that way, it got the school multiple state championships. I don't agree that is the right way to coach, but also believe that a lot of kids now days are pussies, and cry when a teacher says the slightest thing to them they may upset them.

But back to the SDSU thing, the Argus was behind that whole thing. Jeremy, the reporter at the Collegian, has close ties to the Argus, he was an intern there this summer and is honor role student. The Argus even borrowed him their lawyer to fight it. This wasn't about the Collegian, this was about the Argus. Now if they can just find out about that pesky pheasant hunt!

Anonymous said…
Its nice to see some of the social elite act as looney as an old lady with a house full of cats. I'm currently holding piece of my yard hostage, waiting for my neighbor to listen to my demands. Like Rick James said, " Cocaine is a helluva drug."
Anonymous said…
They say he walks around naked in the locker room and swears too much at the kids.

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