PIERRE, S.D. — One week after the governor and other officials called upon legislative leadership to act, the top two Republicans in the South Dakota House of Representatives have released a statement saying they will convene a special session of the Legislature to consider impeachment of the state's embattled attorney general.
In a letter sent to media on Thursday, Sept. 9, House Majority Leader Kent Peterson, a Salem Republican, said he will be calling a session of the state Legislature to "evaluate the matter of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg," and open an investigation that could end up in impeachment of the high-ranking state official.
Ravnsborg last month pleaded no-contest to two misdemeanor charges related to unsafe driving practices the night he struck and killed pedestrian Joe Boever along the shoulder of the highway west of Highmore, South Dakota, last year.
Earlier this month, Ravnsborg also pleaded guilty to a speeding charge, also a misdemeanor.
The South Dakota constitution allows for impeachment for a variety of offenses, including misdemeanors.
Peterson says he'll call for the special session to convene on Nov. 9 — one day after the Legislature is already scheduled to meet in a separate special session to reset the state's voting districts.
House Speaker Spencer Gosch, R-Glenham, added to the letter, saying if calling the session is successful, he would appoint a committee to investigate Ravnsborg. House Minority Leader Jamie Smith also joined the letter, saying the matter is "not a political party issue."
The state constitution requires that two-thirds of the members of each chamber must agree with calling a special session. An impeachment inquiry would begin in the house and — with a plurality of support — pass into the senate in the form of a trial.