South Dakota AG Convicted in Impeachment Trial Over Fatal Crash Response, Removed From Office

On Tuesday, Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was convicted by the South Dakota Senate on two charges. This sent him to jail and will prevent him from holding office in the future.

A 2020 car accident in which Republican Ravnsborg struck a man with his vehicle resulted in impeachment. He claimed that he thought that he had hit a deer or another large animal the night before the crash and that he didn’t realize that he had hit someone until the next day.

Republican State Senator Lee Schoenbeck stated, “There is no doubt that it was a lie.” “This person ran over an innocent South Dakotan.”

Alexis Tracy, Clay County’s state’s attorney, was the one who led the prosecution team. He said Ravnsborg “absolutely sat the man that he struck in a few moments afterward.”

Joseph Boever, 55, was that man. After Boever threatened to sue Ravnsborg, Ravnsborg came to a settlement with Boever’s widow. The settlement terms have not yet been disclosed.

Ravnsborg was charged with two traffic offenses in the wake of the accident. He pleaded not guilty to each and was fined $500. He was convicted by the State Senate of malfeasance and a crime that caused death. Ravnsborg was accused by the State Senate of using his position to “set the tone” and “gain influence” over the investigation and telling “misstatements and outright lies.”

Ross Garber, an impeachment expert, said that Ravnsborg’s attorney would remove the attorney general from office, which would be “undoing their will.”

Gov. Kristi Noem will choose Ravnsborg’s replacement. She will serve until a new Attorney General is elected in November, and then sworn into office.

Noem tweeted Tuesday night, “After nearly two years the dark cloud over Attorney General’s office is lifted.” “It’s now time to move forward and restore confidence in the office.”