South Dakota Attorney General Impeached Over Fatal Car Crash

Jason Ravnsborg Impeachment Trial in Senate for car Crash That Resulted in Death of Joe Boever.


Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg speaks to reporters in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Sept. 9, 2019.

Madisyn Dorko, Staff Writer

The Attorney General of South Dakota, Jason Ravnsborg, will face U.S Congress for an impeachment trial due to a fatal car crash that happened in 2020. His trial in the House of Representatives happened Wednesday, April 13. He is awaiting his Senate trial.

The House voted 36-31 to impeach Ravnsborg and charged him with committing crimes that caused someone’s death, making “numerous misrepresentations” to law enforcement officers after the crash, and using his office to navigate the criminal investigation, according to the Articles of Impeachment.

Ravnsborg killed a pedestrian while driving in September 2020, he first told police that he had hit a deer but then later discovered 55-year-old Joe Boever’s body the next morning after returning to the site of the crash.

Last August, Ravnsborg pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors in connection with the fatal crash. He was ordered to pay a $500 fine for each of the misdemeanors — one count of operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile electronic device and one count of lane driving. A third misdemeanor charge was dismissed and Ravnsborg did not get jail time.

Gov. Kristi Noem, also a Republican, lauded the vote. “Today, the House of Representatives did the right thing for the people of South Dakota and for Joe Boever’s family,” Noem tweeted, referring to the victim.

As for this fall’s elections, NPR reported yesterday, “Ravnsborg is positioning for a reelection bid. He would face a Republican challenger, former attorney general Marty Jackley, at the June GOP convention that decides its next nominee.”

Ravnsborg is temporarily removed from his office at the moment and it will take a ⅔ vote from the senate to permanently remove him from office.