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Governor urges South Dakota AG to resign after fatal crash

Governor urges South Dakota AG to resign after fatal crash

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Ravnsborg (copy)

FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2014, file photo Jason Ravnsborg speaks in Sioux Falls, S.D. Ravnsborg struck and killed a man walking near a highway on Sept. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Dirk Lammers, File)

PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Tuesday called on the state's attorney general to resign as he faces misdemeanor charges for striking and killing a man with his car.

Jason Ravnsborg, the state’s top law enforcement officer, has indicated he will not step down while he waits for the case against him to proceed. Prosecutors have charged him with three misdemeanors but no felonies in the September death of 55-year-old Joseph Boever.

“Now that the investigation has closed and charges have been filed, I believe the Attorney General should resign,” Noem said in a statement. She promised to release more details from the crash investigation.

Republican legislators are also weighing whether to impeach Ravnsborg if he does not step down.

The attorney general, who was elected to his first term in 2018, was driving home to Pierre from a Republican fundraiser late on Sept. 12 when he struck and killed Boever, who was walking on the shoulder of the highway. Ravnsborg initially told authorities that he thought he had struck a deer or another large animal and said he searched the unlit area with a cellphone flashlight. He said he didn’t realize he had killed a man until the next day when he returned to the accident scene.

After an investigation that stretched over five months, prosecutors said they still had questions about the crash but were unable to file more serious criminal charges against Ravnsborg. They charged him with careless driving, driving out of his lane and operating a motor vehicle while on his phone.

Prosecutors found he was not using his phone at the time of the crash, but had been using it while driving about one minute before. The attorney general could face up to 30 days in jail and up to a $500 fine on each charge, if convicted.

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