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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: 727764

Reported Deaths: 13397
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion995211738
Lake53461965
Allen40457675
St. Joseph35506550
Hamilton35489408
Elkhart28433441
Tippecanoe22359218
Vanderburgh22284396
Porter18668307
Johnson17905377
Hendricks17180315
Clark12930191
Madison12592339
Vigo12431246
Monroe11858170
LaPorte11821210
Delaware10648185
Howard9865216
Kosciusko9378117
Hancock8251140
Bartholomew8052155
Warrick7771155
Floyd7649177
Grant7027174
Wayne7026199
Boone6679101
Morgan6555139
Dubois6150117
Marshall6005111
Dearborn579277
Cass5788105
Henry5688103
Noble558883
Jackson500872
Shelby490296
Lawrence4505120
Harrison434772
Gibson434692
Clinton427053
DeKalb426484
Montgomery423588
Whitley394739
Huntington389080
Steuben383857
Miami380666
Knox371890
Jasper363847
Putnam358860
Wabash353379
Adams340654
Ripley339170
Jefferson328881
White313254
Daviess295899
Wells291081
Decatur284292
Fayette279262
Greene277385
Posey271033
Scott265453
LaGrange265370
Clay259146
Washington240032
Randolph239781
Spencer232031
Jennings229549
Starke215453
Fountain212046
Sullivan211142
Owen198156
Fulton194740
Jay192530
Carroll188320
Orange182654
Perry182637
Rush172925
Vermillion168543
Franklin167735
Tipton162445
Parke145916
Blackford134632
Pike133234
Pulaski116445
Newton107234
Brown101641
Crawford99314
Benton98414
Martin88315
Warren81715
Switzerland7848
Union70810
Ohio56411
Unassigned0414

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1081518

Reported Deaths: 19428
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1256551400
Cuyahoga1117782115
Hamilton798901205
Montgomery513291014
Summit47080945
Lucas42049788
Butler38301584
Stark32242906
Lorain24958481
Warren24262298
Mahoning21511588
Lake20618369
Clermont19747238
Delaware18503133
Licking16410212
Fairfield16160199
Trumbull16019468
Medina15247264
Greene15043244
Clark13970299
Wood13065189
Portage12825203
Allen11626232
Richland11323199
Miami10661217
Muskingum8799133
Wayne8784211
Columbiana8766229
Pickaway8551121
Marion8514135
Tuscarawas8470244
Erie7871154
Hancock6906127
Ross6842155
Ashtabula6792170
Geauga6677148
Scioto6405101
Belmont5873167
Union570348
Lawrence5546102
Jefferson5521151
Huron5427119
Darke5347123
Sandusky5337120
Seneca5275121
Athens518858
Washington5153109
Auglaize489584
Mercer480385
Shelby468893
Knox4483110
Madison435561
Putnam4278100
Fulton421669
Ashland421489
Defiance419297
Crawford3970107
Brown393857
Logan381576
Preble379398
Clinton371263
Ottawa366679
Highland354662
Williams338575
Champaign331458
Guernsey315653
Jackson312151
Perry294850
Morrow284639
Fayette281550
Hardin270664
Henry268466
Coshocton264557
Holmes2593101
Van Wert243363
Adams237752
Pike237534
Gallia235349
Wyandot230855
Hocking215262
Carroll191247
Paulding172540
Meigs144740
Noble133337
Monroe132042
Morgan108323
Harrison107637
Vinton82815
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Huntington
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Decatur
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Van Wert
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Rain moves in overnight into Sunday morning and looks to hang around much of the day, likely forcing Mother's Day plans indoors
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