Ravnsborg impeachment probe to cost taxpayers at least $87K

April 3, 2022 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The leader of the South Dakota House says impeachment proceedings into Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg will cost state taxpayers at least $87,000.

Republican South Dakota House Speaker Spencer Gosch said Friday the House Select Committee on Investigation racked up the bills on attorney fees while it looked into the events surrounding a fatal crash with a pedestrian in 2020, the Argus Leader reported.

The committee this week issued a formal recommendation that Ravnsborg, 45, should not face impeachment. Before its decision, a special counsel directed the nine representatives through 10 separate meetings and hundreds of documents, videos, recordings and other materials.

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Rapid City attorney Sara Frankenstein, the special prosecutor, said an email Saturday that she personally logged 208 hours working with the House Select Committee on Investigation. A paralegal working under her also billed 84 hours. Additional clerical work not reflected in those hours, Frankenstein said.

“That file was over 10,000 pages, not to mention how many hours of video and audio recordings,” said Gosch, who also served as committee chairman. “Her and her team did a thorough and meticulous job.”

A House committee concluded its monthslong inquiry last week by voting 6-2 on party lines to recommend that Ravnsborg, a Republican, be cleared in the death of Joseph Boever, who was walking near a rural highway. The attorney general last year pleaded no contest to a pair of misdemeanors and was required to pay fines.