Jun 21, 2022 - Podcasts

South Dakota attorney general convicted in impeachment trial over fatal crash

Photo of Jason Ravnsborg standing with his hands linked in front of him
Jason Ravnsborg, South Dakota attorney general, listens during a news conference outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 9, 2019. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (R) was convicted Tuesday in his impeachment trial over a 2020 car crash in which he hit and killed a pedestrian, the Argus Leader reports.

Why it matters: Ravnsborg, who initially said he thought he hit a deer and maintains that he did not lie, is the first official to be impeached and convicted in state history.

  • He faced accusations of abusing the power of his office to navigate the criminal investigation and making "numerous misrepresentations" to law enforcement officers.

Details: Ravnsborg has a history of speeding and traffic violations, and was convicted last year on two misdemeanor charges related to the 2020 crash.

  • He had been driving home alone from a dinner event when he became distracted, drove off the highway and struck 55-year-old Joseph Boever, according to investigators.
  • They found no evidence that suggested he was driving under the influence. Ravnsborg told law enforcement he did not notice until the next day that he had hit a man.
  • Criminal investigators later said they didn't buy some of Ravnsborg's statements, per AP.
  • Though a South Dakota House investigative committee recommended not impeaching him, the state House nonetheless moved ahead.
  • He has alleged that Gov. Kristi Noem (R) interfered in the investigation in support of impeachment because of his probes into her ethics. Noem has actively campaigned for his removal from office.

Editor's note: This is a breaking story. Please check back for updates.

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