South Dakota needs to get a new attorney general, after the most recent one was officially impeached and removed from office.
On Tuesday (June 21st) state lawmakers convicted Jason Ravnsborg on one count of committing a crime that resulted in someone’s death and one count of malfeasance for misleading law enforcement and abusing the powers of his office.
He is the first official to be impeached and convicted in South Dakota history, and is also barred from holding any office ever again.
Ravnsborg is accused of driving on US Highway 14 in September of 2020, when he hit and killed 55-year old Joe Boever just outside of the town of Highmore, which is about 50 miles northeast of Pierre.
Investigators say Ravnsborg wasn’t driving in the correct lane and was on his cell phone at the time, and at first he disputed the latter claim, but then admitted to it.
He told investigators he believed he hit a deer initially, but Boever’s body was found the next morning and evidence showed that part of Boever’s head had gone through the windshield of the vehicle Ravnsborg was driving.
Boever’s reading glasses were later found in the vehicle.
Ravnsborg’s driving record showed he had 27 vehicle citations or warnings since 1996.
He pleaded no contest to 2 misdemeanor charges stemming the incident.
Prosecutors did not charge Ravnsborg with vehicular homicide or second degree manslaughter, and South Dakota does not have a negligent homicide law.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem will choose Ravnsborg’s replacement, who will finish the remaining 6-months of the term.
The state’s attorney general position is up for election this year.