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North Dakota investigators point to discrepancies in Ravnsborg testimony

SD Department of Public Safety
North Dakota Special Agents Joe Arenz (right) and Arnie Rummel (center) interview Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg following a fatal car crash.

Two North Dakota investigators who interrogated Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg following a fatal crash say there were discrepancies in his testimony.

Those comments came during a second day of subpoenaed testimony at an impeachment inquiry. Some on the committee are concerned about how the investigation was conducted.

North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation Special Agents Joe Arenz and Arnie Rummel interviewed the attorney general twice following the crash.

Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg struck and killed Joe Boever just west of Highmore in September of 2020. Boever was carrying a flashlight that night, which stayed illuminated near the crash site into the next day. Cell phone data shows that Ravnsborg walked from his vehicle back toward Highmore.

That means he would have walked past Boever’s body, which was near the shoulder.

Special Agent Arnie Rummel says he thinks Ravnsborg knew he hit a person.

“He walked by a flashlight that’s on. There’s a body that’s laying within two feet of the roadway and obviously deceased,” Rummel says. “He’s all white, I mean, there isn’t any blood being pumped in him obviously. The fact that white is reflective, I believe he would have had to have seen him, in my opinion.”

The attorney general has plead no-contest to a pair of misdemeanors.

The impeachment inquiry is investigating Ravnsborg’s conduct following the fatal crash. Gov. Krisi Noem has criticized the group’s handling of the probe, saying they have focused more on questioning law enforcement, than Ravnsborg.

Several members of the committee are looking at how the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation investigators and South Dakota Highway Patrol have looked into the case. Both Special Agents Arenz and Rummel say they are not experts in crash reconstruction.

House Speaker Spencer Gosch says there’s a lot of information in the investigation file.

“The reason we ask those questions is because the individuals we subpoenaed would be able to answer those questions,” Gosch says. “That doesn’t mean those are all the questions. That doesn’t mean we’re not going to do more. It just means we’re trying to be thorough with the information that we have right now.”

The House Impeachment inquiry has no further meetings scheduled. There is no timeline on when redacted investigation materials will be released to the public.

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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