The Yankton Press & Dakotan, the newspaper in the community where Jason Ravnsborg practiced law before becoming Attorney General, said last week that Ravnsborg should resign over his conduct after killing Joseph Boever:
Based on what we know of him when Ravnsborg was a Yankton attorney, there can be little doubt that this incident has had a deep impact on him — how could it not? But his actions since the incident have seemingly focused much more on legal maneuvering and political calculus rather that a sense of public responsibility, humility and contrition.
His actions have not been those of an attorney general elected by the people, but as a defendant looking for any angle to save himself.
His actions also suggest his political ambitions are still intact.
He has shown little remorse, at least outwardly, as he strives to put all this behind him and, perhaps, to take control of the public narrative.
But it’s not so easy. Among many other things, Ravnsborg will still have to reckon with a civil lawsuit, and he may still face impeachment by the Legislature.
And people will remember.
He has already lost the trust and the faith he needs to continue as attorney general.
Thus, he should not. He should resign [editorial, “Ravnsborg Should Resign as AG,” Yankton Press & Dakotan, 2021.08.30].
The Black Hills Pioneer seconds that motion, saying the claims of Army Reservist Ravnsborg’s defense attorney that Ravnsborg is an honorable man don’t erase Ravnsborg’s demonstrations of his unfitness for office:
…honorable actions taken in the past do not give you a free pass for less than honorable actions today.
The Army values include: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.
Ravnsborg certainly did not display personal courage when he was a no-show for his trial. He owed it to the family of the man he killed to stand up and face them, take his lumps, let them vent their anger and frustration. It’s what should have happened.
He hasn’t showed his integrity, failing to sincerely apologize or take responsibility for his actions.
He hasn’t respected Boever or his family having tried to have Boever’s medical records admitted in court proceedings as an attempt to shift the blame from himself causing a tragic accident, to Boever himself in perhaps, just maybe, he flung himself in front of the car in a suicide attempt.
He has clearly failed to live up to U.S. Army values. He has failed to live up to South Dakota values.
So we join the Yankton Press & Dakotan in calling for Ravnsborg to immediately resign. Should he not, we call on the state Legislature to impeach him [editorial, “AG Ravnsborg Should Resign Now or Legislature Should Impeach,” Black Hills Pioneer, 2021.09.04].
Why wait, Jason? Why drag out your political death? Resign today, and let South Dakota get back to enforcing its laws without the distraction of your dishonor.