S.D. Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg Removed From Office After Impeachment Trial
Jason Ravnsborg, the Attorney General of South Dakota, has been impeached after being found guilty of attempting to cover up a death.
In the summer of 2020, Ravnsborg was returning from a GOP meeting when he struck Joseph Boeve while walking on the side of the road. During the initial response, Boeve’s body was not found and it was not until the next morning when Boeve’s body was spotted in a ditch by Ravnsborg.
The trial was the first in South Dakota Senate history.
Investigators found evidence that Ravnsborg was likely distracted while driving. Police concluded Boeve was struck while the car was out of its lane, a fact that contradicts the attorney general’s testimony. It was also revealed that Ravnsborg knew he hit a man and not a deer.
Ravnsborg was charged with two traffic violations and was not prosecuted for the death of Boeve.
The South Dakota Senate, however, decided to perform their own investigation into the matter. After the initial findings, the 70-member Senate voted 36-34 to impeach the attorney general. On Tuesday, Ravnsborg was convicted by the South Dakota Senate.
Mark Vargo, assisted by Alexis Tracy, was in charge of the prosecution. They called on several key witnesses to prove Ravnsborg guilty. Mike Butler was Ravnsborg’s counsel during the trial.
The Senate found him guilty of Boeve’s death and malfeasance.
The former attorney general’s initial testimony to police fell on skeptical ears from both law enforcement and members of his own party.
Sen. Lee Schoenbeck, South Dakota’s top-ranking Republican senator, agreed with the verdict that Ravnsborg was guilty and stated he did not believe Ravnsborg’s testimony.
“There’s no question that was a lie,” he said. “This person ran down an innocent South Dakotan.”
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