DPS denies request for Ravnsborg crash report
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s fatal crash report won’t be released to the public, at least for now.
The South Dakota Department of Public Safety has denied Dakota News Now’s public records request for the crash report, citing South Dakota Law. The denial letter says the department will reassess whether to release the file once the State Legislature determines if it will move forward with impeachment.
DPS Secretary Craig Price delivered the investigation files to Speaker Gosch earlier this month at Governor Noem’s direction. House Majority Leader Kent Peterson called for a special legislative session to determine if impeachment proceedings are warranted against Ravnsborg. The special session would take place in November.
In March, Speaker Gosch said the House would wait until after Ravnsborg’s legal proceedings to begin impeachment discussions.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem says she was “outraged” at the result of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s plea agreement in August and called on him to either resign or be impeached by the South Dakota State Legislature.
Three South Dakota law enforcement organizations have joined the chorus calling for Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s resignation. The South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police, the South Dakota Chiefs of Police Association, and the South Dakota Sheriffs Association issued a joint statement earlier this year requesting Ravnsborg to resign.
On September 12, 2020, Ravnsborg was traveling late on a highway near Highmore after attending a political fundraiser. Ravnsborg called 911 and explained to a dispatcher that he had struck something with his car and was unsure what he had hit. Ravnsborg discovered the body of 55-year-old Joseph Boever the next morning when returning to his vehicle. Ravnsborg later told investigators he thought he struck a deer while driving home.
Ravnsborg avoided a trial and took a plea deal in August. Ravnsborg pled no contest to two misdemeanor charges in a plea deal with prosecutors.
Officials say they will not release the full investigation file to the public but they did release a cover letter authored by Secretary Price which outlines what is included in the investigation file.
In the letter, Secretary Price also states he believes Ravnsborg should have been charged with second-degree manslaughter. Price says the South Dakota Highway Patrol was “ready and willing” to provide testimony regarding the crash and the investigation.
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