Ravnsborg must resign or be impeached

A cloud has been hanging over the Attorney General’s office in South Dakota since the state’s chief law enforcement officer struck and killed a man late Saturday night, Sept. 12, last year. Jason Ravnsborg plead no contest to two misdemeanor traffic charges Aug. 26 in Ft. Pierre and was fined $500 for each count, plus $3,742 in court costs. He will not serve any time in jail and he still refuses to resign.
In a Feb. 24 editorial in this same space, we said we agreed with District 30 Rep. Tim Goodwin and others who said Ravnsborg should resign. Gov. Kristi Noem has also called for the attorney general to step down. We believe the charges against Ravnsborg were extremely lenient and should have been more like involuntary vehicular manslaughter.
We again urge him to resign or the Legislature to impeach him. He refuses to do the former so it is up to the Legislature to do the latter. There is no way he will be chosen by his Republican party to run again in 2022.
His story of believing he struck a deer that evening in Hyde County on U.S. Highway 14 just didn’t seem to make sense, especially when 55-year-old Joseph Boever’s glasses were found inside Ravnsborg’s 2011 Ford Taurus.  Ravnsborg said he got out of his car and looked for the deer he thought he hit. He then called the Hyde County sheriff to tell him what happened and borrowed the sheriff’s car to drive to Pierre because his car was inoperable.
The next day he and the sheriff returned to the scene of the accident and discovered Boever’s body in the ditch. Boever was reportedly walking on the shoulder of the road carrying a flashlight when he was struck. After a five-month-long investigation, Ravnsborg was charged by the Hyde County State’s Attorney’s office with operating a vehicle while using a mobile or electronic device, a lane driving violation and careless driving.
Prosecutors dropped the careless driving charge for some reason. Ravnsborg pleaded no contest to making an illegal lane change and using a phone while driving. This seems to be a rather watered down version of what really happened that fateful evening. When a life is lost due to inattention and carelessness, it seems there should be more severe consequences for the perpetrator.
Boever’s widow and relatives were decidedly upset and angered that Ravnsborg did not attend the Aug. 26 hearing. They wanted him to face them and said “His cowardly behavior leaves us frustrated.” Boever’s sister, Jane Boever, said her brother was “left behind carelessly” and said Ravnsborg has shown no remorse and only “arrogance toward the law.” The least Ravnsborg could have done that day was to face Boever’s family members and say he was sorry for what happened that evening and apologize for his actions.
Ravnsborg apparently does not have the decency to resign his post and put this terrible ordeal behind him. How can our state’s highest law enforcement official remain in office after being responsible for his careless actions that resulted in the death of an innocent person?
The Legislature should impeach him as he has become a pariah to his own party and a liability to the entire state’s law enforcement community. He has no credibility.

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