PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Lawmakers on a special committee are not recommending impeachment for Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.
The House Select Committee on Investigation made its official recommendation on a 6-2 vote during its 10th meeting Monday at the Capitol in Pierre.
House Speaker Spencer Gosch (R-Glenham) said the committee report is extensive and will be made public on the South Dakota Legislative Research Council website.
Voting in favor of not recommending impeachment were Reps. Doug Barthel (R-Sioux Falls), Jon Hansen (R-Dell Rapids), Steven Haugaard (R-Sioux Falls), Kevin Jensen (R-Canton), Kent Peterson (R-Salem) and Mike Stevens (R-Yankton.) Voting against not recommending impeachment were Ryan Cwach (D-Yankton) and Jamie Smith (D-Sioux Falls).
“After careful and comprehensive investigation, and consideration of the facts and applicable law, the majority of the select committee herby concludes Attorney General Ravnsborg did not commit an impeachable offense in his conduct surrounding the death of Joe Boever,” Gosch said. “The select committee recommends that the articles of impeachment do not issue.”
LRC director Reed Holwegner said LRC staff will be working on publicly posting the full committee report and the redacted files.
In November 2021, the House voted 50-10 with two excused to start a special session on the possible impeachment of Ravnsborg. Officially, House Resolution 7001 states the select committee “shall investigate whether the conduct of Jason Ravnsborg, Attorney General of the State of South Dakota, surrounding the death of Joe Boever, involved impeachable offenses.”
Updates and coverage from Monday’s meeting can be found in the story below.
The committee is back in session.
The group of lawmakers has been meeting behind closed doors for more than three hours. The official agenda listed adjournment at 6 p.m.
KELOLAND’s Bob Mercer reports a member of the committee said the panel is printing the full Ravnsborg report.
KELOLAND’s Dan Santella reports a lawmaker on the committee said the executive session could end in roughly a half hour.
The committee started, called roll and immediately went into executive session.
Nick Nemec, of Holabird, cousin of Boever was in attendance for the start of the House Select Committee on Investigation.
Also with Nemec was Jennifer Boever, the widow.
Committee members are starting to show up in the Capitol Room 414 in Pierre. The meeting is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. and go into executive session when recording devices and the public will be barred from the room.
After the final report is released and made public, members of the South Dakota House of Representatives will return to the Capitol on Tuesday, April 12, to decide whether to impeach Ravnsborg.
Officially, House Resolution 7001 states the select committee “shall investigate whether the conduct of Jason Ravnsborg, Attorney General of the State of South Dakota, surrounding the death of Joe Boever, involved impeachable offenses.”
The South Dakota Constitution specifically states grounds for impeachment are “drunkenness, crimes, corrupt conduct, or malfeasance or misdemeanor in office.”
The House needs a simple majority of 36 representatives to impeach Ravnsborg. If the House impeaches, then Ravnsborg must step aside, at least temporarily, and the Senate must wait at least 20 days before conducting a public trial of Ravnsborg.
The Senate needs a two-thirds majority of 24 to convict. If the Senate fails to convict, Ravnsborg can return to his official duties. If the Senate convicts, he is barred from holding office.