After being charged with three misdemeanors on February 18, Republican lawmakers are calling for the resignation of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg. The AG is now facing a serious battle with lawmakers in his own party.
Ravnsborg was charged with operating a vehicle while using a mobile electronic device, illegal lane change, and careless driving for his role in a September 2020 car accident that killed a man who was walking down the side of a highway.
Calls for Resignation
South Dakota state Representative Tim Goodwin, the first Republican lawmaker to call for Ravnsborg’s resignation, stated: “It is a sad day, but we need to move forward as a state and do what is best for the citizens of South Dakota. That’s why I’m asking, or recommending, to our Attorney General to resign his post immediately, so the state can move on, the Governor can appoint a new Attorney General, and we can get this behind us.”
Ravnsborg has so far refused to resign, but he may not have a choice in the matter, as he may soon be facing articles of impeachment from the state legislature.
Articles of Impeachment
“I think that it hasn’t been fully determined exactly what happened and I don’t think the Attorney General has been held accountable for his actions. So I wouldn’t be opposed to further action by the legislature,” said Democrat State Rep. Jennifer Keintz.
The legislature is still considering the articles of impeachment, though they would only need a simple majority of representatives to impeach. They might be facing a more difficult fight in the Senate to convict, as conviction requires a two-thirds majority of the Senate to vote in favor.
If Ravnsborg is convicted, Republican Governor Kristi Noem would have to appoint his replacement.
In order to get an impeachment charge through the State House, only a simple majority of representatives would have to vote in favor. However, to get a conviction in the Senate two thirds of the members would have to vote in favor of Ravnsborg’s removal. Governor Kristi Noem would then appoint Ravnsborg’s replacement.
Goodwin wishes that he was not put in this predicament. “I’m a personal friend of Jason’s this is no malice, vendetta, in fact its very sad I have to ask this, but I feel very strongly that he should resign today,” Goodwin said.
In a statement issued by a spokesperson for Ravnsborg, the Attorney General stated that he “does not intend to resign, in particular he has not yet received any documentation or other information about the disposition and movement of the case.”
“With still over a month left to go in the general session, Attorney General Ravnsborg is very much focused on the work at hand for South Dakota,” the statement continued.
Sources are reporting that it is likely that articles of impeachment may be introduced during the regular floor session on February 23.