SD Speaker: Telemarketers trying to sway AG impeachment

Jan 27, 2022, 12:26 PM | Updated: 1:17 pm

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota lawmakers weighing impeachment charges against the state’s attorney general said Thursday that they have been pressured by a telemarketing campaign to impeach him.

House Speaker Spencer Gosch, a Republican who is leading the House committee investigating Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s 2020 fatal car crash, said a telemarketing company this week has been calling state residents and transferring the calls to members of the committee.

“This telemarketing firm is using a nonfactual, distasteful, and inappropriate script to insight public outrage,” Gosch said in a statement. “It is clear to me that whoever is behind this movement is trying to impede, influence, or taint the ongoing investigation of this committee. We are looking into who is behind this.”

The committee has been tasked with sifting through the investigation into the September 2020 crash, when Ravnsborg struck and killed a man walking near a rural highway.

The Republican attorney general, elected to his first term in 2018, first reported the crash as a collision with an animal and has insisted that he did not realize he had killed the man, 55-year-old Joseph Boever, until he returned to the scene the next day and discovered his body.

Republican Gov. Kristi Noem wants Ravnsborg removed from office and has pressured the committee to move forward with its work. At a news conference Thursday she said she didn’t know anything about the telemarketing calls other than what Gosch had told her.

The House committee is set to meet again Monday.

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SD Speaker: Telemarketers trying to sway AG impeachment