PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota House lawmakers on Tuesday began impeachment proceedings against the state’s attorney general, who is facing misdemeanor charges for striking and killing a man with his car and is already under pressure to resign.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers filed a resolution in the House to impeach the state’s top law enforcement officer, Jason Ravnsborg, after he indicated Monday he would not heed calls for his resignation.
The Republican attorney general faces three misdemeanor charges but no felonies in the September death of 55-year-old Joseph Boever.
Lawmakers argued in the impeachment resolution that Ravnsborg should be removed from office for “his crimes or misdemeanors in office causing the death" of Boever.
The resolution also stated that Ravnsborg’s conduct following the crash was “unbecoming” and his “statements and actions failed to meet the standard” of his office.
“When we started looking through and thinking about the duties that the attorney general owes to the people of South Dakota, and I think he owes a special duty to protect the people and uphold the laws. And I think that the actions in these incidents fell short of that duty,” said Rep. Will Mortensen, who represents the area where the crash occurred and who sponsored the impeachment resolution.
Shortly before the impeachment resolution was filed, Gov. Kristi Noem called for him to step down. The governor's spokesman Ian Fury said she also supports the impeachment resolution.
“Now that the investigation has closed and charges have been filed, I believe the Attorney General should resign,” Noem said in a statement.