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South Dakota attorney general has been impeached after fatal car crash

Jason Ravnsborg was impeached from the office of South Dakota attorney general after running over and killing a man in 2020

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Jason Ravnsborg and his attorney, Mike Butler, leave the South Dakota State Capitol.

Jason Ravnsborg, left, and his attorney, Mike Butler, leave the South Dakota State Capitol after Ravnsborg was convicted on both articles of impeachment and voted to be removed from the attorney general’s office on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, in Pierre, S.D. The South Dakota Senate on Tuesday convicted Ravnsborg of two impeachment charges stemming from a 2020 car crash in which he killed a pedestrian, immediately removing him and barring him from serving in public office again.

Erin Woodiel, The Argus Leader via Associated Press

The South Dakota Senate voted to remove Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg from his elected office due to a car crash in 2020, which resulted in the death of Joe Boever, the Argus Leader reported.

The charges: Ravnsborg was convicted of two charges: “committing crimes that caused someone’s death, and malfeasance for misleading law enforcement and abusing the powers of office,” according to The New York Times.

  • This conviction required two-thirds support from the Senate.

Details of the crash: Ravnsborg claims he had thought he killed a deer until he returned to the scene the next day.

  • However, investigators say Boever’s face went through the windshield, and that his glasses were found inside of Ravnsborg’s car, per NPR.
  • Before the crash, Ravnsborg had been driving home alone after a dinner party, Axios reported. He then became distracted and hit 55-year-old Boever.

  • Ravnsborg claimed that he was not distracted by his smartphone, but then later admitted to have been looking at it moments before the crash, according to The Associated Press.
  • Investigators claimed that there were slips in Ravnsborg’s story. In one instance, investigators said that he first said he “saw him,” and then corrected himself and said, “I didn’t see him.”
  • The Associated Press says that investigators believe the former attorney general saw Boever on the side of the road the night of the accident. Boever’s flashlight was still beaming the next morning upon discovery of his body.

The bottom line: The South Dakota Senate voted against Ravnsborg and barred him from ever holding office again, per ABC News.

  • The Senate voted 24 to 9 in favor of the first article of impeachment, which was that Ravnsborg committed crimes that caused someone’s death.
  • They also voted 31 to 2 in favor of the second article, which convicted him of malfeasance in office, the Argus Leader reported.
  • Ravnsborg is South Dakota’s first official to ever be impeached and convicted, per The Associated Press.