South Dakota’s attorney general is on the verge of impeachment amid discrepancies in his depiction of a fatal hit-and-run collision in which he was involved.
Jason Ravnsborg, a Republican, is facing bipartisan backlash following the latest developments in the investigation, including allegations that his story does not line up with police evidence.
“His face was in your windshield, Jason”
Even the state’s Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has gone public with her belief that it is time for him to go.
The scandal dates back to September as Ravnsborg was driving home from a political event and struck the victim, 55-year-old Joseph Boever before driving away from the scene.
His initial story to investigators was that he believed he hit a deer and was shocked to later learn that it had been a human. This week, however, evidence was released that cast doubt on his statement.
During an interrogation on Sept. 30, for example, one detective referenced finding Boever’s eyeglasses inside Ravnsborg’s vehicle, prompting him to remark: “His face was in your windshield, Jason. Think about that.”
Another potentially damaging piece of evidence reportedly involved cellphone records from the day of the collision revealing that he logged into his email account and visited news websites before calling 911.
“I know he does not belong”
He currently faces misdemeanor counts of careless driving, operating a vehicle while using a mobile or electronic device, and driving outside of the lane. Prosecutors have determined that the facts of the case did not warrant further charges.
Of course, his political future appears to be in jeopardy, with officials across South Dakota calling for his impeachment. In fact, the effort is being led by the state Republicans who filed an impeachment resolution on Tuesday.
As for Noem, she has called for Ravnsborg to be impeached and resign. State House Speaker Will Mortenson, also a Republican, outlined the impeachment process, which requires the formation of a committee responsible for investigating whether an impeachable offense actually occurred.
In a statement on the matter, Mortenson described his position as “not political” and “not personal,” adding: “Again, I do not believe Attorney General Ravnsborg belongs in prison, but I know he does not belong in the Office of the Attorney General anymore.”
The governor had teased the release of more evidence from the case, but those plans are reportedly now on hold.