sunny.png
Tuesday July 5th, 2022 5:28PM

South Dakota impeachment trial will probe AG's fatal crash

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota senators on Tuesday begin hearing evidence for the impeachment of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, whose account of a fatal 2020 traffic accident led criminal investigators, some lawmakers and the victim’s family to question his truthfulness.

Ravnsborg, a Republican who only recently announced he wouldn't seek a second term, faces two charges in the state's first-ever impeachment trial, with conviction on either one triggering immediate removal from office. Senators may also vote on whether Ravnsborg should be barred from holding future office.

Either way, the outcome will close a chapter that has roiled state politics, pitting Republican Gov. Kristi Noem against Ravnsborg and some in her own party who objected to her aggressive pursuit of his removal.

Ravnsborg was driving home from a political fundraiser after dark on Sept. 12, 2020, on a state highway in central South Dakota when his car struck “something,” according to a transcript of his 911 call afterward. He later said it might have been a deer or other animal.

Ravnsborg said neither he nor the county sheriff who came to the scene knew that he had struck and killed a man — 55-year-old Joseph Boever — until Ravnsborg returned to the scene the following morning.

Investigators said they doubted some of Ravnsborg’s statements. In earlier testimony to lawmakers, they said they determined the attorney general had walked right past Boever's body and the flashlight Boever had been carrying — still illuminated the next morning — as he looked around the scene the night of the crash.

They also identified what they thought were small slips in Ravnsborg's statements, such as when he said he turned around at the accident scene and “saw him” before quickly correcting himself and saying: “I didn't see him.” And they suggested that Boever's face had come through Ravnsborg's windshield because his glasses were found in the car.

Ravnsborg has maintained that he did nothing wrong and cast the impeachment trial as a chance to clear himself. He resolved the criminal case last year by pleading no contest to a pair of traffic misdemeanors, including making an illegal lane change and using a phone while driving, and was fined by a judge.

The GOP-controlled Senate, which has 32 Republican members and three Democrats, will hear from impeachment prosecutors, defense attorneys, crash investigators and former members of Ravnsborg’s staff.

It will take 24 senators, or two-thirds of the body's 35 members, to convict Ravnsborg on either of two articles of impeachment: committing a crime that caused death, and malfeasance.

The latter alleges that he misled investigators and abused the power of his office. Investigators said Ravnsborg asked a state Division of Criminal Investigation agent about what crash investigators could find on his cellphone. He has said he was simply seeking factual information.

Noem called for Ravnsborg to resign soon after the crash and later pressed lawmakers to pursue impeachment. Noem also publicly endorsed Ravnsborg's predecessor, Republican Marty Jackley, for election as his replacement. If Ravnsborg is forced out, the governor will appoint an interim to fill the post until the new attorney general elected in November is sworn in.

Ravnsborg has argued that the governor, who has positioned herself for a possible 2024 White House bid, pushed for his removal in part because he had investigated ethics complaints against Noem.

Ravnsborg in September agreed to an undisclosed settlement with Boever's widow.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Nobel sold for Ukrainian kids shatters record at $103.5M
Nobel Peace laureate Dmitry Muratov says he was not expecting the medal he was auctioning off to help Ukrainian child refugees sell for the record amount of $103.5 million
1:48AM ( 4 hours ago )
South Dakota impeachment trial will probe AG's fatal crash
South Dakota senators will begin hearing evidence for the impeachment of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, whose account of a fatal 2020 traffic accident led criminal investigators, some lawmakers and the victim’s family to question his truthfulness
11:48PM ( 6 hours ago )
Report: Police in Uvalde had rifles earlier than known
Documents examined by the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV show armed police officers stood in a Uvalde elementary school hallway with at least one ballistic shield within 19 minutes of a gunman arriving at the school, where he killed 21 people, 19 of them children
10:49PM ( 7 hours ago )
U.S. News
1st Native American US treasurer nominated, oversees Mint
A Native American has been nominated to be U.S. treasurer, a historic first
5:40AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Global stocks rebound as Wall St futures gain after holiday
Global stocks have rebounded as Wall Street futures moved higher after U.S. markets were closed for a holiday
5:39AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Crowds mark summer solstice at ancient Stonehenge monument
Thousands of druids, pagans and New Age revelers have greeted the summer solstice at Stonehenge on the longest day of the northern hemisphere year
5:30AM ( 35 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Israel to dissolve parliament, call 5th election in 3 years
Israel’s weakened coalition government has announced that it will dissolve parliament and call new elections
12:49AM ( 5 hours ago )
No nukes? Ukraine-Russian war will shape world's arsenals
Nuclear Russia's pillaging of non-nuclear Ukraine is rattling what's already a destabilizing moment in nuclear nonproliferation efforts
12:12AM ( 5 hours ago )
Mayor of Washington, DC, faces formidable primary challenge
Washington, D
12:09AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Petro faces challenges to deliver Colombians promised change
Colombia for the first time elected a leftist as its next president, but the slim victory is a cue that a large portion of the country rejects the ambitious proposals of Gustavo Petro
6:43PM ( 11 hours ago )
Judge to hear requests to reset trial for 2 in Floyd killing
Minnesota prosecutors and a defense attorney for one of two former Minneapolis police officers who still face a state trial in George Floyd’s killing have made dueling requests for a new trial date
6:26PM ( 11 hours ago )
Facebook: Greitens' 'RINO hunting' video violates standards
Facebook has removed a campaign video by Republican Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Eric Greitens that shows him brandishing a shotgun and declaring that he's hunting RINOs, or Republicans In Name Only
5:07PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Nobel sold for Ukrainian kids shatters record at $103.5M
Nobel Peace laureate Dmitry Muratov says he was not expecting the medal he was auctioning off to help Ukrainian child refugees sell for the record amount of $103.5 million
1:48AM ( 4 hours ago )
Report: Police in Uvalde had rifles earlier than known
Documents examined by the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV show armed police officers stood in a Uvalde elementary school hallway with at least one ballistic shield within 19 minutes of a gunman arriving at the school, where he killed 21 people, 19 of them children
10:49PM ( 7 hours ago )
Drag queen blasts GOP candidate for Arizona governor
Kari Lake, the frontrunner in the Republican primary for Arizona governor, condemned the growing cultural clout of drag queens, jumping into the latest social grievance taking hold on the right
9:40PM ( 8 hours ago )
NASA fuels moon rocket for 1st time in countdown rehearsal
NASA has fueled its huge moon rocket for the first time and completed a countdown test despite a fuel line leak
8:56PM ( 9 hours ago )
Georgia's Raffensperger among witnesses for next 1/6 hearing
The House Jan. 6 committee is expected to hear testimony from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger about the extraordinary pressure he faced from former President Donald Trump to “find 11,780” votes that could flip the state to prevent Joe Biden’s election victory
8:52PM ( 9 hours ago )