South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (R) is facing an impeachment and calls to resign for the role he played in a car crash that killed a pedestrian.
The latest: A freshman lawmaker in the South Dakota House of Representatives, Rep. Will Mortensen, has introduced two articles of impeachment to the Legislative Research Council against Ravnsborg, the Argus Leader reported. They are expected to be introduced on the House floor today.
The impeachment articles argue that Ravnsborg should be removed from his position for fatally striking Joseph Boever and for the way he handled the situation after the accident occurred.
“This is not political, and it is not personal,” Mortenson said. “Again, I do not believe Attorney General Ravnsborg belongs in prison, but I know he does not belong in the Office of the Attorney General anymore.”
Meanwhile, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Ranvsborg should resign.
“Now that the investigation has closed and charges have been filed, I believe the Attorney General should resign. I have reviewed the material we are releasing, starting today, and I encourage others to review it as well,” Noem tweeted.
Now that the investigation has closed and charges have been filed, I believe the Attorney General should resign. I have reviewed the material we are releasing, starting today, and I encourage others to review it as well.
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) February 23, 2021
Ravnsborg does not plan to resign, a spokesperson for the attorney general said in a statement. “At no time has this issue impeded his ability to do the work of the office. Instead, he has handled some of the largest settlements and legislative issues the state has ever been through,” the spokesperson said.
How we got here: Ravnsborg fatally struck Boever, 55, on Sep. 12, while he was driving home from a fundraiser. Ravnsborg did not notice that he injured a person and believed he hit an animal. He reported the accident to the police who arrived at the scene. Among them was Hyde County Sheriff who gave his car to Ravnsborg so he can go home.
He only discovered Boever’s body the next day when he returned to the scene of the crash on his way to give back the sheriff’s car.
Investigators found that the attorney general was not distracted when the crash occurred and that his “phones were locked approximately 1 minute and 15 seconds prior to the impact.” He did drive over the speed limit by around two miles.
Last week, Ravnsborg was charged with three misdemeanors in relation to the car crash, including for operating a vehicle while using a mobile or electronic device, a lane driving violation for driving outside of his lane, and careless driving.
They each carry a maximum of $500 in fines and 30 days in jail.
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Author: Penka Arsova
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