Ravnsborg impeachment committee gets to work, but behind closed doors

The committee considering whether or not to impeach Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has met almost exclusively behind closed doors since getting started Tuesday morning.
The meeting among members of the committee considering the impeachment of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has been conducted almost exclusively in private.
Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 3:05 PM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. - South Dakota lawmakers met in Pierre Tuesday for two days of meetings to go over the case for impeaching Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.

But the select committee considering impeachment met almost exclusively behind closed doors Tuesday.

After gaveling in at about 10:00 a.m., committee members took an oath related to their role on the impeachment committee. Then, they immediately went into executive session, ending any ability for the public to witness the proceedings.

Nick Nemec was at the capitol to witness the proceedings Tuesday. His cousin, Joe Boever, was hit and killed by Ravnsborg’s car in the accident on September 12th, 2020. Nemec has attended every event related to the case against Ravnsborg since then.

“I would tell them (lawmakers) that I think the impeachable offenses extend beyond the day of the crash and the night of the crash,” Nemec said. “I think Attorney General Ravnsborg because of his conduct since the crash has shown that he is unfit for office.”

For his part, House Speaker Spencer Gosch (R-Glenham) says the executive session was scheduled to provide the committee buffer time.

“We’ve got to establish a path forward before we take that first step,” Gosch said. “You are all privy to the constitution and it’s various interpretations, that’s why the committee was put the way it was, so we could better have those conversations and develop how we were going to move forward.”

Gosch says that they are still committed to a transparent process.

“We will be as transparent as humanly possible,” Gosch said. “There are some areas where we aren’t able to be transparent, or we will have to have conversations in executive session. The main reason for that is to make sure that fairness is our utmost focus.”

“(It) makes me feel like they want to cover things up,” Nemec said. “I think the entire fruits of the investigation should be made public. I am not hopeful that that will happen but they need to be made public.”

The committee is scheduled to reconvene Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m., and promptly return to executive session at 9:05 a.m.

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