PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The majority of lawmakers on the House Select Committee on Investigation decided on Monday to not recommend the impeachment of South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg. The attorney general was behind the wheel of the car that struck and killed pedestrian Joe Boever in 2020. The House committee voted along party lines, six to two.
“A majority of the select committee hereby concludes Attorney General Ravnsborg did not commit an impeachable offense in his conduct surrounding the death of Joe Boever,” said Rep. Spencer Gosch, a Republican from Glenham who has chaired the committee. “The select committee recommends that the articles of impeachment do not issue.”
Gosch says representatives will gather on April 12. Any pair of representatives can bring forward articles of impeachment. Gosch expressed pride in the house select committee’s work.
“I think they were very extensive in their work,” Gosch said. “They took their time, and they left no stone unturned, so very proud of what they’ve done. It’s up to the individual member to make their own decision.”
Representatives Ryan Cwach and Jamie Smith, both Democrats, opposed the decision to not recommend impeachment. Smith is running for governor. The six votes in opposition to theirs came from Republicans.
“We believe that there were problems with the testimony of the attorney general, and not testimony because he never had to testify, I guess, it was during his reporting process there with the, with his interrogations,” Smith said.
Following the meeting, KELOLAND News spoke with Boever’s cousin Nick Nemec.
“Hardly a day goes by where you don’t think about Joe,” Nemec said. “And some days more than others, and I just feel like we didn’t get justice for Joe Boever.”
CLICK HERE to READ: The House Select Committee’s Majority Report and Recommendations
Ravnsborg faced three misdemeanor charges related to his driving but not Boever’s death. The careless driving charge was dropped in a plea deal; his attorney entered a plea of no contest on his behalf to charges of driving outside the lane and operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile electronic device.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s reelection campaign sent out a statement on Monday night which says “[t]he full House will have the opportunity in the coming days to correct the failures of this committee.”