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Ravnsborg impeachment committee meets prior to release of anticipated report

Nine lawmakers have been meeting since November to interview witnesses and officials about Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg's conduct and actions before, during and after he struck and killed a pedestrian Joe Boever on a rural South Dakota highway in 2020. An investigative report they'll deliver to the House of Representatives will be made public by Tuesday at the latest.

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South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was driving on this stretch of U.S. Highway 14 just west of Highmore, South Dakota, when he struck and killed Joe Boever, late Sept. 12, 2020. The men in the ditch in the distance are standing about where brothers Nick and Victor Nemec, Boever's cousins, believe his body came to rest.
Jeremy Fugleberg / Forum News Service
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PIERRE, S.D. — Roughly an hour west of the site where South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg struck and killed pedestrian Joe Boever 18 months ago, a House of Representatives select committee considering Ravnsborg's impeachment will meet for the final time on Monday afternoon, March 28, prior to release of a full report to their House colleagues.

Since the inception of a special session beginning last November, nine lawmakers — including House Speaker Spencer Gosch and gubernatorial candidates Rep. Steven Haugaard, R-Madison, and House Minority Leader Jamie Smith, D-Sioux Falls — have been interviewing officials, meeting with a staff attorney and deliberating.

The results should be in a final report that is expected to indicate whether the House should proceed with articles of impeachment for the Republican attorney general.

"The end is near," committee chair Gosch, R-Glenham, told reporters earlier this month. "Our full body will meet on April 12 to discuss the report and (take) any action if necessary."

The report is expected to be provided to lawmakers and the public later on Monday or, at the latest, Tuesday, March 29.

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The bipartisan committee's work included interviews with agents from the North Dakota Department of Criminal Investigations who, at South Dakota officials' direction, lead the crash investigation. Committee members also heard from prosecuting attorney Emily Sovell about her decision to charge Ravnsborg with misdemeanors, not felonies, for his fatal collision with Boever, 55, of Highmore, on Sept. 12, 2020.

In August, Ravnsborg pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of distracted driving and use of a phone. He was not using the phone at the time of impact with the victim, according to investigation details released by Sovell.

Gov. Kristi Noem has repeatedly called for Ravnsborg to resign his position as top law enforcement agent in the state, saying he's lost fellow agents' confidence. Noem's top public safety political appointee, Craig Price, wrote a letter earlier this month alleging that Boever would still be alive today but for "the Attorney General being distracted."

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Related Topics: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Christopher Vondracek covers South Dakota news for Forum News Service. Email him at cvondracek@forumcomm.com or follow him on Twitter at @ChrisVondracek.
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