South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was impeached Tuesday by lawmakers in the state House of Representatives.
The lawmakers voted 36-31 to charge Ravnsborg with committing crimes or misdemeanors that led to the death of a citizen, according to NBC News. The attorney general was also charged with actions that “failed to meet the standard of the Office of the Attorney General” in connection to the aftermath of deadly 2020 crash he was involved in, the outlet reported.
Ravnsborg initially reported hitting a deer while driving on the highway one evening in 2020, but it turned out that he had hit and killed 55-year-old Joe Boever. He pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor charges after originally facing three in connection to the incident. Boever’s broken glasses were reportedly found on the floor of Ravnsborg’s car, and an investigator said during an interrogation “that means his face came through your windshield.”
Breaking: South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has been impeached by the State House of Representatives. The vote, 36-31 in favor of impeachment. Now the matter moves to the Senate Chamber.
— Scott Engen (@Scott_Engen) April 12, 2022
Republicans voted 28 in favor of and 31 against impeachment, while eight democrats also voted in favor, the outlet continued. (RELATED: South Dakota AG Denies Knowing Victim’s Glasses Were On Car Floor After He Claimed He Hit A Deer)
“Never before in our state’s history has it been that a state official criminally ended the life of one of our citizens and refused to resign from that post. I believe impeachment should be reserved only for grave and exceptional circumstances, and I believe this is one,” Republican South Dakota state Rep. Will Mortenson said Tuesday, NBC News reported. Mortenson filed both articles of impeachment against Ravnsborg, the outlet noted.
“I respect the process but I look forward to the Senate trial where I believe I will be vindicated,” Ravnsborg said in a statement in response to the impeachment vote, NBC News reported.
Ravnsborg is the first-ever South Dakota attorney general to be impeached, the Associated Press noted.