Corn Palace director resigns after 8 months on the job

Farm Forum

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) — For the second time in less than two years, the Corn Palace in Mitchell is without a director.

Dan Sabers resigned from his position on Sept. 10, The Mitchell Daily Republic reported. Sabers took the job in January, replacing former director Mark Schilling.

Sabers’ departure is the latest setback in securing a long-term director for the Corn Palace, which draws about 200,000 tourists each year and bills itself as the world’s only palace dedicated to the commodity.

Schilling resigned in March 2014 at then-Mayor Ken Tracy’s request after a state audit concluded he mishandled money. In October, Tracy offered the job to local businessman Steve Koch, who withdrew his name from consideration a couple of days later. In May, he filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and mayor claiming he was forced to withdraw his name.

Nobody answered at Saber’s home and Mayor Jerry Toomey did not immediately return an email seeking comment. Human Resources Director Billie Kelly confirmed to the newspaper that Sabers resigned from the post.

Sabers was selected out of at least 39 applicants and was set to earn a $70,000 salary in his first year.

According to City Administrator Stephanie Ellwein, Assistant Corn Palace Manager Jeri Mickelson will take over day-to-day operations.