Calls to Resign Mount for South Dakota Attorney General in Fatal Car Crash as New Details Emerge
South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg is facing calls to resign over newly released evidence that questions his conduct after fatally crashing into pedestrian. He told authorities he left the scene because he thought he'd hit a deer.
Calls are mounting for South Dakota South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg to step down after recently released evidence questions his conduct after he struck and killed a pedestrian last year and left the scene.
In his first call to 911 on the night of the crash and in a subsequent public statement, Ravnsborg said he thought he'd hit a deer, or another large animal, along the side of Highway 14 in September, while driving home after a Republican fundraiser. He didn't know he had crashed into a man until he returned to the scene the next morning, he said.
But GOP Gov. Kristi Noem and others have now called for him to resign after evidence released by the state Department of Public Safety shows investigators questioning his version of events and telling him that the dead man's glasses were found in Ravnsborg's vehicle and that the man's face had penetrated the windshield.
"Now that the investigation has closed and charges have been filed, I believe the Attorney General should resign," Noem tweeted last week. "I have reviewed the material we are releasing, starting today, and I encourage others to review it as well."
The family of Joe Boever, the victim of the crash, said the man had been walking home that night.
Last week, a bipartisan group of South Dakota lawmakers filed a resolution to impeach Ravnsborg over acts "causing" and "following" Boever's death. "During his reporting of the collision and the resulting investigation, [Ravnsborg] undertook actions unbecoming the Attorney General," the resolution said.
In February, local prosecutors announced Ravnsborg faced three misdemeanors for operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile device, driving outside a lane and careless driving.
Citing a lack of evidence, the prosecutors said stronger charges, including vehicular homicide, could not be filed.
Boever's family said they were disappointed by the lesser charges.
A statement released by Ravnsborg's private spokesperson in response to calls for him to step down, said, "The Attorney General does not intend to resign. At no time has this issue impeded his ability to do the work of the office.”
Ravnsborg's office declined to comment when contacted by Inside Edition Digital, saying they do not comment on ongoing investigations or litigation.
Evidence released by the Department of Public Safety included videotaped interviews between investigators and Ravnsborg.
One investigator is seen asking Ravnsborg about a pair of glasses found inside his car. The attorney general notes that he doesn't wear glasses.
“They’re Joe’s glasses,” the investigator says, referring to Boever. His glasses are right there, Jason. The only way for them to get there is through the windshield.”
Ravnsborg said he had not noticed the glasses in his vehicle. “His face was in your windshield, Jason. Think about that.”
At another point, an investigator tells him, "We also have the imprint on the hood where his body, part of his body, likely was riding. At some point time he rolls off, takes out the mirror and slides into the ditch.”
Ravnsborg replies, “I never saw him."
“I want you to be really honest right now, Jason,” the investigator said.
Ravnsborg answered, “I am. I never saw him.”
A judge later ordered the state safety department to remove the videos from its website, saying they could potentially influence future jurors in any further litigation, but social media postings of the videos by news agencies remained online.
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