Articles of Impeachment Filed Against SD Attorney General
Articles of Impeachment have been brought against South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg on Tuesday, according to Dakota News Now. This is the first impeachment of an elected official in South Dakota history.
Earlier in the day, Governor Kristi Noem had called for Ravnsborg to resign. Noem supports the Articles of Impeachment.
Dakota News Now is reporting that Rep. Will Mortenson (R, Pierre) filed the articles. House Majority Leader Kent Pederson (R, Bon Homme) and House Minority Leader Jamie Smith (D, Sioux Falls) co-sponsored the resolution.
“The Attorney General has a special obligation to follow the laws and protect the public,” Mortenson said in a press release. “Jason Ravnsborg’s actions and statements related to the death of Joseph Boever breached those obligations to the people of South Dakota, and he should be removed from office.”
According to the press release, the resolution includes two separate articles of impeachment. One concerns crimes and misdemeanors that caused the death of Joseph Boever on September 12, 2020, and the other concerns Ravnsborg’s statements and actions in reporting the crime and the resulting investigation.
It's not known when the House will vote on the resolution. Lawmakers were going to vote on Tuesday afternoon, but that never happened. If the House approves the Articles, then the Senate will begin a procedure that is similar to a court case. A two-thirds majority vote in the Senate is required to convict and remove an elected official.
Ravnsborg faces misdemeanor charges of careless driving, operating a vehicle while using a mobile device, and a driving lane violation in connection to a crash that caused the death of Joseph Boever. Prosecutors say Ravnsborg is not criminally responsible for Boever’s death because South Dakota does not have a negligent homicide law.