PIERRE, SD (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has named the lead prosecutor in the Senate impeachment trial of former Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg to serve the remainder of Ravnsborg’s term.
Noem’s acting appointment of Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo became effective Tuesday.
She pushed Ravnsborg, a fellow first-term Republican, to resign days after he hit and killed a pedestrian with his car in 2020, then later pushed for his impeachment. Ravnsborg was finally convicted last week of two counts and was removed from his post.
“Mark Vargo returns integrity, experience and stability to the Attorney General’s office,” Noem said in a statement.
Vargo will serve until January, when the winner of the November elections will be sworn in. Marty Jackley, the Republican candidate and Ravnsborg’s predecessor, has Noem’s endorsement. Jackley served as a state attorney general for about a decade and a U.S. state attorney for three years.
Ravnsborg was removed from office last week after the Senate heard testimony about his conduct in the September 2020 crash that killed Joseph Boever, who was struck while walking along a road rural. Ravnsborg had announced shortly before his impeachment trial that he would not seek a second term. The Senate also voted to ban him from holding public office again.
Ravnsborg appeared before a state ethics committee on Monday to demand an investigation into Noem, the person he blames for his impeachment.
As attorney general, Ravnsborg filed a pair of complaints against Noem with the state’s Government Accountability Board last year, alleging she abused the powers of her office by interfering in a state agency. as she assessed her daughter’s application for a real estate appraiser’s license and abused the state. planes.
The council, which is made up of retired judges, has not decided to investigate Noem, who is running for re-election after a first term in which she rose to national prominence in her party and is widely considered a a White House contender in 2024.
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