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Indiana governor backs path for forcing out attorney general

Republican Attorney General Curtis Hill

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a statement Thursday that he supports a bill endorsed by the Indiana House that would prohibit anyone whose law license has been suspended for at least 30 days from serving as attorney general.

Posted: Mar 6, 2020 12:22 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s governor is endorsing a proposal that could force the state’s attorney general from office if his law license is suspended over allegations that he drunkenly groped a state legislator and three other women.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a statement Thursday that he supports a bill endorsed by the Indiana House that would prohibit anyone whose law license has been suspended for at least 30 days from serving as attorney general.

That action came as Republican Attorney General Curtis Hill awaits a decision from the state Supreme Court on whether he’ll face any punishment for the alleged professional misconduct. Former state Supreme Court Justice Myra Selby, who heard four days of testimony about the allegations in October, last month recommended that Hill’s law license be suspended for at least 60 days, writing that his “conduct was offensive, invasive, damaging and embarrassing” to the women.

State law requires the attorney general to be “duly licensed to practice law in Indiana” but doesn’t specify whether the person can continue serving after facing professional disciplinary action.

“Clarity and certainty are always good,” Holcomb’s statement said. “The House has provided both for anyone who holds the office of attorney general. I would support and sign the bill if it came to my desk.”

Hill, who is seeking reelection this year, has denied wrongdoing and resisted calls for his resignation from Holcomb and other state Republican leaders. A special prosecutor declined to pursue criminal charges against Hill and a federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit filed by the women alleging sexual harassment and defamation by Hill. The judge ruled that the women didn’t establish that Hill violated federal law.

Hill is accused of grabbing Democratic Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon’s buttocks and inappropriately touching and making unwelcome sexual comments toward three female legislative staffers during a party in March 2018.

The Republican-dominated House voted 83-9 Monday in favor of the attorney general removal provision. The bill is pending with the state Senate, which must approve it by next week’s end of the legislative session for it to become law.

The attorney general’s office said the provision “raises some legal concerns — and this kind of rushed proposal lacks transparency and leaves no opportunity for public input.”

Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray, a Martinsville Republican, said Thursday that while he and other senators were still discussing the House proposal, he recognized that legislators hadn’t previously contemplated an attorney general being subjected to a law license suspension.

“This issue has been evolving even through this legislative session because we didn’t have the (disciplinary) recommendation when we started in January,” Bray said. “So, these things have come to light and it’s been recognized as an issue.”

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 111505

Reported Deaths: 3506
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20699758
Lake10217318
Elkhart6368109
St. Joseph604597
Allen5965200
Hamilton4676109
Vanderburgh334129
Hendricks2650122
Monroe240836
Johnson2257122
Tippecanoe221013
Clark211756
Porter205244
Cass19319
Delaware187061
Vigo176622
Madison157775
LaPorte136737
Floyd130361
Howard127563
Kosciusko119017
Bartholomew114957
Warrick114135
Marshall98524
Dubois94918
Boone94446
Hancock90542
Grant88233
Noble88132
Henry76324
Wayne73914
Jackson7349
Morgan69638
Shelby66529
Daviess64127
LaGrange63011
Dearborn62628
Clinton59112
Harrison56024
Putnam5329
Montgomery50521
Lawrence50328
Knox4869
White47914
Gibson4744
Decatur45339
DeKalb45011
Miami4243
Fayette41813
Greene41835
Jasper3822
Steuben3677
Scott35310
Sullivan32912
Jennings30912
Posey3020
Franklin29725
Clay2925
Orange28224
Ripley2788
Carroll27013
Wabash2638
Washington2581
Whitley2526
Starke2517
Wells2472
Adams2443
Jefferson2433
Fulton2352
Huntington2213
Spencer2194
Tipton21722
Perry20913
Randolph2067
Jay1700
Newton17011
Owen1641
Martin1620
Rush1514
Pike1411
Vermillion1260
Fountain1152
Pulaski1141
Blackford1132
Crawford1030
Brown1013
Parke932
Benton880
Union770
Ohio767
Switzerland680
Warren401
Unassigned0225

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 144309

Reported Deaths: 4615
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin25977603
Cuyahoga17092642
Hamilton12756308
Montgomery7501152
Lucas7119357
Butler563299
Summit5096249
Marion306347
Mahoning2991279
Warren291048
Stark2739168
Pickaway263344
Lorain226386
Delaware213520
Fairfield202050
Columbiana191980
Licking185762
Trumbull1848131
Clark172338
Wood170671
Clermont162620
Lake157649
Medina143038
Allen136767
Greene135228
Miami135049
Portage107466
Mercer105317
Tuscarawas91220
Wayne90166
Erie89944
Ross85622
Richland78419
Madison78012
Darke76039
Belmont70727
Geauga70347
Hancock6579
Ashtabula64348
Athens5972
Lawrence59418
Shelby5819
Auglaize5659
Sandusky55420
Putnam54123
Huron5237
Union4932
Ottawa46530
Scioto4646
Seneca43914
Preble42013
Holmes3717
Muskingum3712
Jefferson3184
Henry29712
Champaign2933
Logan2933
Perry2859
Defiance28110
Clinton27813
Knox27815
Brown2752
Hardin25013
Morrow2492
Washington24823
Fulton2341
Jackson2314
Coshocton23011
Fayette2256
Ashland2234
Highland2203
Crawford2186
Wyandot20112
Williams1983
Gallia18012
Meigs1729
Hocking1619
Pike1580
Guernsey1567
Carroll1507
Adams1214
Van Wert1113
Monroe10618
Paulding1010
Harrison611
Morgan470
Vinton453
Noble270
Unassigned00
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