Reporter pleads guilty to prank call using Gov. Kristi Noem’s cell number

FAN Editor

A broadcast reporter pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge filed after he made a prank phone call using South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s personal cell phone number.

Reporter Austin Goss pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor that stemmed from a pre-recorded prank call he made Jan. 22 to Dan Lederman, the former chairman of the South Dakota Republican Party.  Lederman previously confirmed to CBS News that he was the prank call’s recipient but he declined further comment.

The call, which came from a website called PrankDial, made it appear it was coming from Noem’s cell phone.

According to an affidavit submitted to the state’s circuit court, Lederman heard a recording called “Mafia Guy Got Vaccines.” In the recording, a man accosts the listener with questions about the whereabouts of COVID-19 vaccines, then accuses the listener of conspiring to “move the three boxes of that AstraZeneca outside this family,” later saying, “Oh, I’m getting so angry.” 

The recording ends with the line, “You’ve just been pranked by”

According to the affidavit, Goss had met with Noem several times in his capacity as a political reporter. “It would stand to reason that Austin may have come into possession of Governor Noem’s personal phone number,” the affidavit said. 

Goss was fired from his job as the Capitol bureau reporter for Dakota News Now after the news organization learned of the matter. He initially was charged with a misdemeanor count of making threatening, harassing or misleading contacts, which carried a maximum penalty of one year’s imprisonment and $2,000 in fines.  

Goss’ lawyer, Jason Glodt, called the call a “practical joke” between Goss and a friend.

“The Court granted Mr. Goss a suspended imposition of sentence so there will be no conviction on his record,” Glodt said in a statement. “I believe it is unfortunate he was charged in the first place, but appreciate the willingness of the State’s Attorney to reduce the charge.”

Reached by phone, Goss declined to give a comment about the call or his plea.

A spokesperson for Noem said the governor wouldn’t have a comment about the matter.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks at the National Rifle Association Convention, Friday, April 14, 2023, in Indianapolis.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks at the National Rifle Association Convention, Friday, April 14, 2023, in Indianapolis. Darron Cummings/AP

Free America Network Articles

Leave a Reply

Next Post

Google expected to unveil its answer to Microsoft’s AI search challenge

By Jeffrey Dastin (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google on Wednesday is expected to unveil more artificial intelligence in its products to answer the latest competition from Microsoft Corp, which has threatened its perch atop the nearly $300-billion search advertising market. Advertisement Through an internal project code-named Magi, Google has looked […]