Indiana attorney general seeking new term amid groping case

Republican Curtis Hill made the announcement in a video in which he doesn’t address the women’s claims that led Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and other state GOP leaders to call for Hill’s resignation after they became public last year.

Posted: Nov 14, 2019 3:13 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s attorney general, who is awaiting the outcome from professional misconduct allegations of drunkenly groping four women that threaten his law license, announced Thursday that he’s running for a second term.

Republican Curtis Hill made the announcement in a video in which he doesn’t address the women’s claims that led Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and other state GOP leaders to call for Hill’s resignation after they became public last year.

Hill’s video mentions legal actions against drug companies over the national opioid crisis and defending state laws imposing additional abortion restrictions.

It shows images of Hill with President Donald Trump interspersed with favorite national conservative attack targets such as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“I stood with President Trump,” Hill says in the video. “I’ll never back down from partisan attacks, the media, and even Republicans embarrassed to defend our values.”

Hill has denied doing anything wrong and a special prosecutor declined to file criminal charges over the allegations from a state lawmaker and three legislative staffers during the March 2018 party at an Indianapolis bar marking the end of that year’s legislative session.

The Indiana Supreme Court is awaiting a hearing officer’s report before deciding any law license sanctions. The court’s options range from dismissing the complaint, a reprimand and temporary suspension or permanent removal of Hill’s law license, which he needs under state law to serve as state government’s top lawyer.

The Republican attorney general nominee will be picked at the state party convention next summer ahead of the November 2020 election.

Holcomb, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and House Speaker Brian Bosma are among top state Republicans who’ve called for Hill’s resignation. Holcomb hasn’t yet endorsed anyone for the nomination.

“The governor and lieutenant governor have been clear and consistent from the beginning: Curtis Hill should not be Attorney General of the State of Indiana,” state Republican Party spokesman Jake Oakman said in a statement. “This announcement doesn’t change anything.”

Hill will be counting on the support of social conservatives among state convention delegates in order to win the GOP nomination.

He’s fueled that support with news conferences about the discovery of more than 2,400 sets of fetal remains at Chicago-area properties linked to a deceased Indiana abortion doctor and appearances on Fox News to discuss topics such as San Francisco’s troubles with homelessness.

Hill was elected last November as vice chairman of the national Republican Attorneys General Association, which provided about half of the $1.5 million he spent in easily winning election over a little-known Democrat in 2016.

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody called Hill “a disgrace.”

“His conduct is below the standard of an elected official, let alone the state’s top law enforcement officer,” Zody said. “In his announcement, Hill lights the fuse on what could be a powder keg of a Republican convention by openly taunting Governor Holcomb and other Indiana Republicans.”

Hill testified during an attorney disciplinary hearing last month that he briefly touched Democratic Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon’s back while leaning in to hear what she was saying during the party and was startled to realize she was wearing a backless dress.

Hill said “absolutely not” when asked whether he grabbed Reardon’s buttocks, an allegation she made from the witness stand.

Reardon testified that Hill, smelling of alcohol and with glassy eyes, was holding a drink in his right hand and put his left hand on her shoulder, then slid his hand down her dress to clench her buttocks. “A squeeze, a firm grasp,” she said.

Hill, 58, also refuted testimony from the three female staffers — ages 23 to 26 at the time — that he inappropriately touched their backs or buttocks and made unwelcomed sexual comments to them.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1011197

Reported Deaths: 16524
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1359292129
Lake666181167
Allen58254802
Hamilton46498467
St. Joseph44559617
Elkhart36044510
Vanderburgh32333481
Tippecanoe28037260
Johnson25196446
Hendricks23960360
Porter22985367
Madison18820410
Clark18609253
Vigo17530303
Monroe15319200
LaPorte15230252
Delaware15127264
Howard14801290
Kosciusko12410149
Hancock11773176
Bartholomew11695180
Warrick11305189
Floyd11138215
Wayne11023253
Grant10131220
Morgan9506177
Boone8965116
Dubois8281131
Henry8252153
Dearborn823493
Noble8064106
Marshall7981135
Cass7556123
Lawrence7479172
Shelby7216119
Jackson700990
Gibson6614115
Harrison651892
Huntington6447100
Knox6427106
DeKalb6363100
Montgomery6293112
Miami595298
Putnam584179
Clinton579271
Whitley568455
Steuben566876
Wabash5363104
Jasper536180
Jefferson513297
Ripley501987
Adams483777
Daviess4684115
Scott439875
Greene427296
Clay426960
Wells426088
White420964
Decatur4177104
Fayette407387
Jennings390262
Posey377544
LaGrange361778
Washington360451
Randolph3476100
Spencer340743
Fountain336160
Sullivan330852
Starke319171
Owen315571
Fulton313468
Orange295064
Jay285546
Franklin266443
Perry265752
Rush263832
Carroll262434
Vermillion259854
Parke232029
Pike229643
Tipton229059
Blackford195042
Pulaski184657
Crawford160125
Newton159848
Benton151217
Brown147047
Martin139319
Switzerland135311
Warren121416
Union107216
Ohio84613
Unassigned0544

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1524169

Reported Deaths: 23955
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1646591696
Cuyahoga1468932459
Hamilton1056051431
Montgomery742551279
Summit620221111
Lucas56539917
Butler51696718
Stark468601064
Lorain35783585
Warren32903377
Mahoning30927693
Clermont28271330
Lake27179448
Delaware24263164
Licking24027294
Trumbull22993561
Fairfield22438247
Greene22414326
Medina22149313
Clark19920354
Richland18643292
Portage18073252
Wood17505224
Allen16054279
Miami15627306
Muskingum14890185
Columbiana14153274
Wayne13852271
Tuscarawas12777311
Marion12016180
Scioto11497162
Pickaway11386142
Erie10951184
Ross10614203
Ashtabula9809204
Lawrence9783153
Hancock9741155
Belmont9333209
Geauga9008157
Jefferson8600199
Huron8427143
Union822259
Washington8114144
Sandusky7875151
Athens779579
Knox7766144
Darke7695158
Seneca7405145
Ashland6993130
Auglaize681799
Shelby6540115
Brown640091
Crawford6292130
Defiance6241105
Mercer617893
Fulton605196
Highland602899
Guernsey596371
Madison595678
Logan594596
Clinton585193
Preble5730125
Putnam5354110
Williams530888
Perry519863
Champaign514273
Jackson512473
Ottawa490586
Coshocton488383
Morrow460558
Pike435067
Fayette430363
Hardin420780
Gallia419367
Adams417995
Van Wert374082
Henry366972
Holmes3653125
Hocking357582
Wyandot325262
Carroll304365
Paulding280747
Meigs267251
Monroe216254
Noble201247
Morgan194333
Harrison182646
Vinton167225
Unassigned05
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