South Dakota AG convicted on 2 impeachment charges, removed

The Associated Press & News StaffJune 21, 2022News
Erin Woodiel/The Argus Leader via APAttorney General Jason Ravnsborg listens from the defense table during his impeachment trial on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, at the South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre, S.D.

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Senate convicted Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg of two impeachment charges stemming from a 2020 fatal accident, removing and barring him from future office.

The votes Tuesday were a stinging rebuke that showed most senators didn’t believe his account of the crash.

In a historic decision, the senate voted to impeach Ravnsborg on both articles of impeachment put forth by the House.

On the first count, Senators voted 24-9 to convict Ravnsborg. On the second vote of impeachment, Senators voted 31-2 to convict.

On the third and fourth vote, Senators voted 33-0. It disqualifies Ravnsborg from ever holding any public office in South Dakota ever again.

Ravnsborg told a 911 dispatcher the night of the crash that he might have struck a deer or other large animal, and has said he didn’t know he struck a man — 55-year-old Joseph Boever — until he returned to the scene the next morning.

Lee Schoenbeck, the chamber’s top-ranking Republican, said there was no question in his mind that was a lie. Ravnsvorg “ran down an innocent South Dakotan,” he said. Ravnsborg declined to address lawmakers.

He has maintained he did nothing wrong.