Local legislators, law enforcement officials weigh in on potential Ravnsborg impeachment

The South Dakota House of Representatives will meet for a special session on Tuesday, April 5 to decide whether or not to impeach the state's Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.

Photo Courtesy of Office of the Attorney General Website.

RAPID CITY, S.D. —  South Dakota legislators are one week away from deciding whether or not to impeach state Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg for his conduct in a 2020 fatal crash.

The state’s House will convene on Tuesday, April 12 in a special session with a decision of impeachment on the line.

But, they’ll also get one more shot at gathering information on Wednesday, April 5 at a briefing that they requested from the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.

However, some legislators have been doing their homework behind the scenes.

“After that (the briefing), I think I’ll be pretty comfortable with the knowledge that I have able to go forth, and I’m going to recommend that he be impeached,” said. State Rep. Tim Goodwin of District 30.

But legislators could face a tougher time with moving forward in that process.

In March, the state House committee that was tasked with bringing an initial recommendation to the house recommended to not impeach Ravnsborg.

The committee decided to follow a “clear and convincing” standard for evidence presented. The majority decided none of the evidence rose to that standard.

The committee’s decision has taken fire by local law enforcement officials who say the committee isn’t looking at the facts presented by North Dakota investigators, who were brought in to lead the investigation.

“You’re the chief law enforcement officer for the state of South Dakota, and you lied to the investigators and that was over the part of the investigation when they asked him about whether or not he was on his phone, he said no,” said Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom. “They presented him with his phone records. He said, ‘well, yeah, I guess I was’ so I don’t think the committee gave much deference to that.”

In order to impeach Ravnsborg, the House will need a simple majority of votes, which is 36. From there it will be sent to the state Senate, where it will need a two third’s vote to remove him from office.

For the full report from the SD House Committee, click the links below.



Categories: Local News, South Dakota News