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South Dakota lawmakers considering impeaching Attorney General

South Dakota's attorney general Jason Ravnsborg
South Dakota's attorney general Jason Ravnsborg(South Dakota Attorney General Office)
Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 11:21 AM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Lawmakers in Pierre are considering impeaching South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg after prosecutors announced he is facing misdemeanor charges following an investigation into a fatal crash.

Articles of Impeachment could be brought in the State House as early as Monday and would be required to be filed no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The South Dakota Broadcaster’s Association reports House members have been privately discussing impeachment since Thursday when Hyde County authorities announced the filing of three misdemeanor charges against Ravnsborg in connection with a September 2020 fatal crash near Highmore.

Impeachment would require a majority of the 70 member house to move to remove Ravnsborg from office. A trial in the State Senate would follow before South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem could appoint a successor to serve the balance of his term, which expires in 2022.

The South Dakota House has never before voted to impeach a constitutional officer. The last time impeachment was even discussed was in 1935, but no articles were actually filed.

Dakota News Now learned early Monday that a legislator from Ravnsborg’s own party - Republican Rep. Tim Goodwin of Rapid City - is calling for Ravnsborg to resign. The state Democratic Party called for his resignation last week.

Ravnsborg says he has no intention to resign and has not yet received any documentation on the deposition.

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