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Ravnsborg impeachment trial slated to start 2 days before Republican convention

The South Dakota Senate will determine whether Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg should be removed from office in a trial scheduled to begin June 21.

The date is only two days before the South Dakota Republican Party holds its convention to determine their candidate for the Nov. 8 general election.

Ravnsborg was impeached by the House for his actions surrounding a September 2020 wreck that killed 55-year-old Joseph Boever. He is the first state official impeached in South Dakota history.

The attorney general said he did not know what he hit and left the scene of the wreck in Hyde County. Boever’s body was discovered when Ravnsborg returned to the scene the next day. He pleaded no contest to two traffic offenses and paid a fine.

Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo and Clay County State’s Attorney Alexis Tracy will handle the prosecution, according to an email to The Center Square from Senate President Pro Tem Lee Schoenbeck.

Ravnsborg is suspended from office until the trial. Charlie McGuigan, the attorney general’s chief deputy, is now in charge of the office, according to an email to The Center Square.

The attorney general told the Mitchell Republic earlier this week he looks forward to the trial and will be “fully vindicated.”

Gov. Kristi Noem has endorsed former attorney general Marty Jackley, who challenged her for governor in 2018’s Republican primary, in this year’s attorney general election.

In a letter sent to lawmakers before the House impeachment vote, Ravnsborg said Noem’s support of impeachment was political.

“She took the unfortunate circumstances of a man being killed in a traffic accident to make her political moves,” Ravnsborg said in the letter. “I could not resign then and cannot resign now because the incident did not impede my ability to perform the functions of attorney general including on-going investigations of the executive office.”

Noem has issued only one statement since the impeachment vote. In a Twitter post after the House vote she said, “Today, the House of Representatives did the right thing for the people of South Dakota and for Joe Boever’s family.”

This article was originally posted on Ravnsborg impeachment trial slated to start 2 days before Republican convention

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