Ravnsborg may face impeachment in State House

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 7:58 AM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - After being charged with three misdemeanors last Thursday, Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg is now in the crosshairs of his own party.

State Rep. Tim Goodwin (R-Rapid City) was the first republican state lawmaker to call for Ravnsborg’s resignation.

“It is a sad day, but we need to move forward as a state and do what is best for the citizens of South Dakota,” Goodwin said. “That’s why I’m asking, or recommending, to our Attorney General to resign his post immediately, so the state can move on, the Governor can appoint a new Attorney General, and we can get this behind us.”

Ravnsborg says that he does not plan on resigning, but it may not be up to him.

There are grumblings amongst lawmakers that articles of impeachment may be brought up amongst legislators.

“I think that it hasn’t been fully determined exactly what happened and I don’t think the Attorney General has been held accountable for his actions,” said State Rep. Jennifer Keintz (D-Eden) “So I wouldn’t be opposed to further action by the legislature.”

In order to get an impeachment charge through the State House, only a simple majority of representatives would have to vote in favor. However, to get a conviction in the Senate two thirds of the members would have to vote in favor of Ravnsborg’s removal. Governor Kristi Noem would then appoint Ravnsborg’s replacement.

Goodwin says that he never hoped to be in this place.

“I’m a personal friend of Jason’s this is no malice, vendetta, in fact its very sad I have to ask this, but I feel very strongly that he should resign today.”

The Attorney General has been defiant against calls for his resignation, and has yet to publicly acknowledge the threat of impeachment.

In a statement Monday through a spokesperson, the Attorney General said that he “does not intend to resign, in particular he has not yet received any documentation or other information about the disposition and movement of the case.”

“With still over a month left to go in the general session, Attorney General Ravnsborg is very much focused on the work at hand for South Dakota.”

If the State House does move to impeach, it would be a first in South Dakota state history. No constitutional officer has ever been impeached in state history.

However, it is likely that articles of impeachment will be introduced Tuesday during regular floor session.

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