South Dakota lawmakers vote to remove attorney general after fatal car crash
June 21 (Reuters) - South Dakota lawmakers voted on Tuesday to convict the state's attorney general of two impeachment articles stemming from a 2020 car crash in which he struck and killed a pedestrian, local media reported.
The Republican-controlled state Senate voted to remove Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg from office and permanently bar him from holding any public office after a one-day trial, the Argus Leader newspaper reported.
Ravnsborg was driving home from a political fundraiser on Sept. 12, 2020, when he hit and killed Joseph Boever, 55, who was walking along a highway in Highmore, South Dakota, about 50 miles east of the capital city of Pierre.
The Republican attorney general told police he believed he had run into a deer rather than a person until he returned to the scene the following day to find the body of the victim lying in a roadside ditch. Toxicology tests released by state authorities showed no evidence of impairment.
In August, Ravnsborg pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor charges involving illegal lane change and using a phone while driving. Ravnsborg faced jail time for each charge, but the judge overseeing the case ordered him to pay $1,000 and perform public service for five years.
Ravnsborg, who was elected in 2018 and had already announced he would not seek reelection, temporarily stepped aside from his duties after the state House of Representatives voted to impeach him in April. The state's Republican governor, Kristi Noem, had called on Ravnsborg to resign following the crash.
"After nearly 2 years the dark cloud over the Attorney General's office has been lifted. It is now time to move on and begin to restore confidence in the office," Noem tweeted on Tuesday.
Ravnsborg previously accused Noem of using the crash as a political weapon against him.
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