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Rapid City lawmakers react to Ravnsborg impeachment

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Sunday
Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 5:59 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Tuesday, the South Dakota House of Representatives voted to impeach Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg for his activity surrounding the death of Joseph Boever.

He is the first elected official in state history to be impeached.

28 Republicans joined all eight Democrats in the South Dakota House of Representatives to impeach the Attorney General. 31 Republicans voted against, with 3 republicans choosing to abstain.

The night before the vote, a letter from Jason Ravnsborg sent to the state legislature was released urging them to vote against.

Many Republicans, including Representative Mike Derby, says the letter, along with other legal documents, was ground for impeachment and a trial in the Senate.

“I relied on a lot of the documents from the investigation, and at the end of the day, I felt he was in his office capacity at the time, and I did feel there was some malfeasance and criminal activity that gave me enough reason to vote yes.”

None of the legislators who voted against impeachment made their case during the House floor debate.

Representative Chris Johnson voted no.

He says while the death of Joe Boever was tragic and should have never happened, ultimately prosecutors said there wasn’t enough evidence for a felony, and the state legislature should take that into consideration.

“Even though a lot of people thought ‘we should impeach him because he killed a man,’ that makes sense, but legally, he was only brought on two misdemeanors. So, what kind of precedent are we setting. That’s my big concern.”

The South Dakota Senate will hold a trial that’s scheduled to begin June 21st.

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