SD impeachment committee subpoenas AG’s staff, prosecutors

Jan 31, 2022, 6:55 PM | Updated: 7:00 pm

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota House committee weighing impeachment charges against the state’s attorney general moved Monday to answer lawmakers’ remaining questions by issuing subpoenas for two key figures in the attorney general’s office as well as the two prosecutors who charged him for his 2020 fatal car crash.

House Speaker Spencer Gosch, the Republican leading the committee, said lawmakers would not meet again until late next month, but cast their latest actions as the last pieces to the House investigation. The committee has been tasked with recommending whether Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, a Republican first elected in 2018, should face impeachment charges for his conduct surrounding the crash. He struck and killed a man walking near the shoulder of a highway in September of 2020.

“We’re basically just trying to wrap it up, touch all the bases and this is where we think that we still have questions,” Gosch said.

After meeting in a closed-door meeting for over two hours, the House committee also moved to allow access to the crash investigation files to other House members and requested that law enforcement outside of South Dakota investigate a potentially-illegal telemarketing campaign that last week pressured them to bring impeachment charges.

The committee wants to hear testimony from Ravnsborg’s chief of staff, Tim Bormann, who was with Ravnsborg the morning after the crash when he discovered the body of the man he killed. Ravnsborg first reported the night-time crash as a collision with an animal and has insisted he did not realize he killed 55-year-old Joseph Boever until discovering his body when he returned to the scene the next day.

The House committee also subpoenaed David Natvig, who directs the Division of Criminal Investigation under Ravnsborg, as well as the prosecutors who charged Ravnsborg with three misdemeanors, Hyde County deputy state’s attorney Emily Sovell and Beadle County state’s attorney Michael Moore.

Ravnsborg in August pleaded no contest to two of the misdemeanors in exchange for prosecutors dropping the third charge.

Gosch said the committee would publicly release unredacted parts of the crash investigation files before the committee issues its final report, but gave no timeline on when he would do that.

Meanwhile, lawmakers also want to find out who was behind a telemarketing campaign that last week tried to pressure them to move forward with impeachment, but they will hand that work off to criminal investigators. They asked that Ravnsborg recuse himself from the investigation and that it be handed to a law enforcement agency either run by the federal government or in another state.

“There’s some serious implications,” Gosch said, asserting that the calls lacked proper disclosures of who was funding them. “So state laws, federal laws that have been violated here. And if these are criminal charges, that’s not really our purview.”

Lawmakers’ suspicions were piqued by a voicemail recording that Gosch said was left on a member of the committee’s phone and picked up audio from a supervisor at the Ohio call center.

Angel Kane, who owns and operates the call center called Grand Solutions, Inc., can be heard on the recording saying, “The governor’s actually involved in this so that’s why it’s more specific.”

A spokesman for Kane, Jonathan Petrea, acknowledged that it was Kane’s voice on the recording, but said that Gov. Kristi Noem did not hire the call center, adding that “No politician, no political party, no campaign was part of the funding of the operation.”

He claimed Kane was using a motivational technique and pointed out that Kane had not used any pronouns in referring to the governor involved. But he declined to say who hired Kane’s company, citing the privacy of his client.

Both Noem and her campaign manager have said they had no involvement in the telemarketing campaign.

Noem, a Republican, has followed the committee’s work closely and sharply rebuked lawmakers who delved into questioning the work of the law enforcement agencies that investigated the crash.

She has said she is pushing for justice in the episode, which left criminal investigators doubting Ravnsborg’s account of the crash and Noem’s Secretary of Public Safety publicly disagreeing with the prosecutors’ decision not to file manslaughter charges. However, if Ravnsborg leaves office, Noem would also get to name his replacement.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Chinese President Xi Jinping waves at an event to introduce new members of the Politburo Sta...
Associated Press

China’s Xi faces public anger over draconian ‘zero COVID’

SHANGHAI (AP) — Barely a month after granting himself new powers as China’s potential leader for life, Xi Jinping is facing a wave of public anger of the kind not seen for decades, sparked by his draconian “zero COVID” program that will soon enter its fourth year. Demonstrators poured into the streets over the weekend […]
1 hour ago
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, from left, Chinese astronauts for the upcoming Shenzh...
Associated Press

China rocket taking 3 to space station to blast off Tuesday

BEIJING (AP) — A rocket carrying three astronauts to finish building China’s space station will blast off Tuesday amid intensifying competition with the U.S., the government said Monday, The crew includes a veteran of a 2005 space mission and two first-time astronauts, according to the China Manned Space Agency. The Shenzhou-15 mission will take off […]
1 hour ago
A passerby tries to pass through a protest in Beijing, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. Protesters angered by...
Associated Press

China affirms zero-COVID stance, eases rules after protests

BEIJING (AP) — Authorities eased anti-virus rules in scattered areas but affirmed China’s severe “zero- COVID” strategy Monday after crowds demanded President Xi Jinping resign during protests against controls that confine millions of people to their homes. The government made no comment on the protests or criticism of Xi, the most widespread display of opposition […]
1 hour ago
FILE - Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko talks with US President George W.Bush, at the NATO Sum...
Associated Press

14 years on, NATO to renew a vow to Ukraine

BUCHAREST (AP) — NATO returns on Tuesday to the scene of one of its most controversial decisions, intent on repeating its vow that Ukraine — now suffering through the 10th month of a war against Russia — will join the world’s biggest military alliance one day. NATO foreign ministers will gather for two days at […]
1 hour ago
This photo mad available by Ukrainian doctor Oleh Duda shows the moment when lights at a hospital w...
Associated Press

Surgeons work by flashlight as Ukraine power grid battered

KHERSON, Ukraine (AP) — Dr. Oleh Duda, a cancer surgeon at a hospital in Lviv, Ukraine, was in the middle of a complicated, dangerous surgery when he heard explosions nearby. Moments later, the lights went out. Duda had no choice but to keep working with only a headlamp for light. The lights came back when […]
1 hour ago
Sheree Perry of Virginia Beach, center, prays with chaplains at a memorial on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022...
Associated Press

City to hold vigil honoring those killed in Walmart shooting

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — The city of Chesapeake, Virginia, has scheduled a candlelight vigil for Monday evening that will honor and remember the victims of last week’s mass shooting at a Walmart store. Six employees were killed and six people were wounded by a store supervisor late Tuesday night in the city of about 250,000 […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
SD impeachment committee subpoenas AG’s staff, prosecutors