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Committee issues subpoenas in Ravnsborg impeachment inquiry

Jason Ravnsborg
Jason Ravnsborg

A House impeachment committee will subpoena officials who investigated Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg's involvement in a fatal crash.

The move came following a second day of the committee meeting behind closed doors Wednesday with its special counsel.

The committee wants the officials to testify Jan. 18 and 19, during the second week of the legislative session. The committee said the testimony will be open to the public.

The House Select Committee on Investigation wants to hear from Department of Public Safety Secretary Craig Price. Committee members also want to hear from other officials who investigated the 2020 fatal crash that took the life of Joseph Boever.

House Speaker Spencer Gosch says the committee spent two days sifting through information provided by the executive branch. Gosch says committee members also discussed what they want Special Counsel Sara Frankenstein to pursue.

“We continued the review of the large investigative file that was provided to us by the Department of Public Safety,” Gosch says.

Earlier this year, Ravnsborg pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor traffic offenses stemming from the fatal crash. A spokesperson for Ravnsborg was not immediately available for comment.

The impeachment committee's main task is crafting a written report that will recommend whether House lawmakers should impeach Ravnsborg. If the House votes to impeach, the Senate will decide whether to remove Ravnsborg from office.

The committee is poring over materials gathered from investigations surrounding the crash. Those materials include hundreds of documents and hours of video and audio. In November, House lawmakers voted to eventually make the investigation materials public. The committee will meet on Jan. 17 to discuss redactions.

This is the state's first-ever impeachment proceeding against a statewide officeholder.

Corrected: December 29, 2021 at 5:51 PM CST
This story has been updated to reflect a correction. The original story incorrectly stated which officials were subpoenaed to testify.
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Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.
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