Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg's impeachment articles drafted, circulating ahead of House vote

South Dakota lawmakers, including House Speaker Spencer Gosch, center, question law enforcement officers who investigated South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg for a fatal car crash in 2020 during a House impeachment investigative committee meeting in Pierre, S.D., on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. Lawmakers are weighing whether Ravnsborg should face impeachment charges. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)
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Five hundred seventy-seven days.

That's the time that will have passed between a fatal crash that killed 55-year-old Joe Boever and the political judgement day for the man behind the wheel.

The South Dakota House of Representatives will gavel in at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the state Capitol for what could be the state's first-ever impeachment of a constitutional officer.

But exactly how the final day of a special legislative session convened in November to specifically vet whether the conduct of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg related to the 2020 crash will play out, and if the 45-year-old Republican will be impeached remains uncertain.

More: House Republicans gear up for battle over Attorney Jason Ravnsborg's impeachment

While the House Select Committee on Investigation recommended last month the chamber not vote to impeach, a contingent of representatives are expected to support a resolution circulating among representatives that calls for Ravnsborg's impeachment and would force an impeachment trial in the Senate.

Drafted by Rep. Will Mortenson, R-Pierre, the resolution states Ravnsborg was not forthcoming with a 911 dispatcher the night of the crash as well as detectives who investigated the crash, and that he used state assets to benefit himself personally.

Mortenson declined to comment for this article.

Procedural mechanisms for delivering both Mortenson's resolution, as well as the committee's 22-page report, have yet to be established by House leadership or the Legislative Research Council.

House Speaker Spencer Gosch, R-Glenham, told the Argus Leader on Friday, because this is the first time the Legislature has ever gone through the impeachment process, research and dialogue with the LRC about how best to proceed are ongoing.

More: Jason Ravnsborg should not be impeached, investigation committee says

Early on, the House will be asked to accept the committee's report. Gosch, though, said that doesn't necessarily amount to a vote on impeachment, only to acknowledge the committee has finished its work and followed through with its directive to submit a report to the Legislature.

While any motion made to accept the report could be replaced with a substitute motion, Gosch said it's his preference to allow resolutions relating to impeachment to be introduced independent of the committee's report.

"We're still navigating through that," he said. "But I think it would be much more cleaner if they brought their own resolutions."

More: South Dakota lawmaker who advised Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg won't vote on impeachment

And while many lawmakers are also still keeping their intentions on Ravnsborg's impeachment close to the vest, they all say they're eager to put the attorney general saga behind them.

"This is long overdue, and hopefully, we can get the situation resolved for the betterment of the people of South Dakota," said Rep. Sydney Davis, R-Burbank.

This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Impeachment articles drafted ahead of South Dakota House vote Tuesday