Press "Enter" to skip to content

Natvig’s Biggest Campaign Promise: I Won’t Hire Ravnsborg!

Killer Jason Ravnsborg is so toxic that even his crony David Natvig has to promise not to hire him:

DCI Director Dave Natvig, among two declared Republicans seeking the soon-to-be open attorney general position, told the Argus Leader this week that if his candidacy is successful, he will not hire outgoing Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.

“He will not be employed by either the attorney general’s office or the Division of Criminal Investigation,” said Natvig in hopes of dispelling rumors to the contrary that have swirled in South Dakota political circles ahead of the convention [Joe Sneve, “DCI Director Running for South Dakota Attorney General Says He Won’t Hire Jason Ravnsborg,” Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 2022.06.15].

Natvig’s consignment of Ravnsborg to the dustbin of unhirability is a bit more direct than the sidestepping he gave Stu Whitney Monday in response to a question about whether he might appoint Ravnsborg to anything:

In a phone interview with News Watch on June 13, Natvig didn’t rule out any appointment scenarios but dismissed the notion that his candidacy for attorney general is linked to Ravnsborg’s future.

“First off, I’m not a politician,” said Natvig, a 56-year-old Kimball native who served as Brule County State’s Attorney from 2003-2019 while also practicing civil law. “I’m going into this race with the attitude that I don’t owe political favors to anyone. I would not make any promises to anyone about anything” [Stu Whitney, “Attorney General IntrigueL Future Roles Uncertain for Jackley, Natvig—and Ravnsborg,” South Dakota News Watch, 2022.06.14].

Natvig is definitely a politician (and his Monday dodge and Wednesday change of message amke him sound like one), but he’s not much of a police officer. Unlike the six previous directors of the Division of Criminal Investigation, David Natvig was never a police officer before becoming the top cop in the DCI shop. Whitney notes that Natvig still is not a certified law enforcement officer.  Natvig has his DCI job solely because he backed Ravnsborg (who was never much of a lawyer before he became Attorney General) to the hilt in 2018 and Ravnsborg repaid him with patronage. Now even that debt isn’t big enough to outweigh the risk Natvig quite wisely sees in letting anyone think that he’d give his best friend in Pierre, the man who killed Joe Boever, a job.

The candidate endorsed by the past five far more law-enforcement-experienced DCI directors, former Attorney General Marty Jackley, unsurprisingly agrees with Natvig that Ravnsborg has no place in the Attorney General’s office come 2023, but he responds more directly that Natvig’s going to be out of a job as well:

“I am not participating in the plans of Jason Ravnsborg and David Natvig, nor am I going to do or say anything which may impact the Senate impeachment trial,” said Jackley, who served as attorney general from 2009 and 2019. “If blessed with the opportunity, I will hire an experienced, certified law enforcement officer as director of DCI and will try to hire the very best for our team” [Sneve, 2022.06.15].

Ravnsborg has already acknowledged his time in government and South Dakota politics is over. Maybe Natvig should read Jackley’s comment and all the other writing on the wall and do the same: withdraw his candidacy, direct his delegates to nominate Jackley by acclamation next week, then start cleaning out his desk in Pierre, head back into private practice, and hope everyone forgets his brief slurp at the trough of Jason Ravnsborg’s patronage.


  1. Kurt Evans 2022-06-15 21:38

    Joe Sneve at the Argus Leader has continued to make the direct assertion, unsourced and in his own voice, that Joe Boever was “walking” when he was struck.

    That’s the claim of DPS secretary Craig Price. How does Sneve claim to know it’s true?

    Stu Whitney at South Dakota News Watch has continued to make the direct assertion, unsourced and in his own voice, that Jason pleaded “guilty” to two misdemeanors.

    That’s the claim of several South Dakota journalists. How does Whitney claim to know it’s true?

  2. Kurt Evans 2022-06-15 22:04

    Last month David Bergan had asked me:

    Could someone be distracted reading a text message or other notification on the lock screen of their phone without unlocking the phone?

    I’d replied:

    Of course someone could, but the investigation found no evidence of any such notification, and no one reads a notification while transitioning between speed zones, and no one drives all four wheels across the rumble strip without noticing, ten feet outside the white line, because he’s reading a notification, especially not at the very spot where there’s a supposedly “walking” pedestrian who took nearly a month’s worth of the psychotropic drug lorazepam in less than 36 hours, disabled his truck by smashing it into a bale beside the highway hard enough to force the grille guard back into the grille, left town on foot after dark, didn’t ask anyone for a ride, declined a ride offered by a passing motorist, and never told anyone why he was out there.

    If the collision on the shoulder happened before Joe’s body went onto the car rather than after it came off, why didn’t his impact with the right side of the car angle it into the ditch? And why was all of the blood from the amputation on the bottom right side of the car, with none on the top?

    The distraction-and-coincidence scenario put forward by Governor Noem’s DPS secretary Craig Price is preposterously far-fetched, and it seems to me that Marty Jackley must know that, but for months on end he’s said nothing. Now Jackley says he’s not “going to do or say anything which may impact the senate impeachment trial.”

    It’s remarkable that something so politically convenient can sound so noble.

    I’d welcome more choices in this race, but David Natvig’s brand of overt authoritarianism is ultimately less destructive of American liberty than Marty Jackley’s brand of covert corruption.

  3. Bob Newland 2022-06-15 22:19

    Kurt, you’re tedious. Ravnsborg Is a PoS. You know it, but you have some sociopathic agenda that prevents you from acknowledging it.

    As for the rest of this post and it’s comment string so far, I have had to take two puke breaks over the apparent implications of Cory’s analysis, which I believe to be accurate.

  4. Bob Newland 2022-06-15 22:20

    I dud not type it’s when I intended its.

  5. Nick Nemec 2022-06-16 02:13

    Tedious is the best description I’ve seen of Evans and his rhetoric. It gets old quick.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-16 05:50

    Ravnsborg is not being done in by Joe Sneve’s and Stu Whitney’s recitation of facts established by the police investigation. Ravnsborg killed his political career by killing a man, lying about it, and pretending that he still deserved to be an elected official. If Kurt’s hypothesis and Ravnsborg himself had any merit, there’d be Republicans fighting tooth and nail to save Ravnsborg’s career, fire Secretary Price, and purge all the other little fish in law enforcement who in Kurt’s fantasy world have all conspired to oust a sitting Attorney General and make the Republican Party look really bad. But the facts are so plain that even one of Ravnsborg’s best political friends, one of the two guys he contacted right after the accident, as he was driving home in Sheriff Volek’s car, can’t even defend giving Jason a state job, let alone argue as Kurt does that Ravnsborg is an innocent victim of a political conspiracy.

  7. Mark Anderson 2022-06-16 06:39

    I really hate to be curt, but Libertarians are truly fanciful. How do you know what you know Mr. Evans? Stringing a singular tale as fact with a dead man is truly a loathsome thing to do.

  8. Kurt Evans 2022-06-16 22:27

    Cory writes:

    Ravnsborg is not being done in by Joe Sneve’s and Stu Whitney’s recitation of facts established by the police investigation.

    Are you defending Stu Whitney’s recitation of the “fact” that Jason pleaded guilty?

    How would you say the police investigation has established that Joe Boever wasn’t struck while running, or standing, or turning around, or coming off the hood, right leg first?

  9. David Bergan 2022-06-19 07:17

    Of course someone could

    Hi Kurt!

    Glad we agree!

    Being an app programmer, I can say that many notifications don’t leave a forensic trail on a person’s phone. Text messages do leave a trail. But, to my knowledge, sports scores updates, weather updates, news updates, or stock market updates generally don’t. And if, say, the weather app was deleted the day after the accident, the investigators probably wouldn’t even know to look for weather notifications.

    no one reads a notification while transitioning between speed zones

    Do you have any support for this sweeping generalization? Has there been any study done of drivers in transition zones and their cell phone use? A person could just hit Resume on their cruise control and think no more about the new speed limit.

    no one drives all four wheels across the rumble strip without noticing

    Sleep-deprived people do. How much rest did the driver have in the previous two nights?

    Kind regards,

  10. Kurt Evans 2022-06-20 03:42


    Are you accusing Jason of using his phone at the time of the crash, or are you accusing him of dozing off before the crash? I’m not seeing how he possibly could have done both. The bright lights of the Highmore junction were probably the least likely place on that long, dark highway for a driver to start falling asleep, and neither sleep nor distraction would explain why the impact of a “walking” pedestrian with the extreme right side of the car didn’t angle it from the outside edge of the shoulder into the ditch.

    The investigators eventually admitted that Jason’s phone had been locked as he approached Highmore, and it seems extremely unlikely to me that he would have locked it if he were going to continue using it as he passed through the Highmore junction.

    Jason says he hadn’t set the cruise control, and he looked down at the speedometer. The investigation found no evidence that he’d “hit resume” on the cruise control before the crash. Based on the investigators’ own account of Jason’s acceleration as he transitioned out of Highmore’s reduced-speed zone, it seems extremely unlikely to me that he would have already reset the cruise control, let alone picked up his phone.

  11. David Bergan 2022-06-20 07:51

    Hi Kurt!

    I am not accusing anything. I don’t know nearly enough about the accident or its recreation to attempt to persuade you or anyone else about what I think happened that night.

    I do have first hand knowledge about app programming and sleep-deprived drivers which you may use to revise your idea of that night’s possibilities. Or prove me wrong. If you have knowledge that law enforcement has tools that can recover information from ephemeral push notifications and deleted apps (and such tools were used here), I’m happy to be corrected. To my knowledge that data is gone like a melted snowflake.

    Thus, a driver could be distracted by checking a sports score without unlocking his phone, and I don’t think law enforcement would know. (Especially if the app was deleted.)

    Kind regards,

  12. grudznick 2022-06-20 08:20

    Mr. Evans, it seems extremely likely to me that your testimony would be useful during the killer’s trial. You need to get yourself to Pierre to testify. It would be highly entertaining.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.