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.

Cases: 764448

Reported Deaths: 13965
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1049701803
Lake567981029
Allen42685698
St. Joseph37253568
Hamilton37131426
Elkhart29699470
Tippecanoe23347230
Vanderburgh23106404
Porter19538327
Johnson18755391
Hendricks18012321
Madison13463345
Clark13450198
Vigo12789255
LaPorte12533224
Monroe12494178
Delaware11100198
Howard10612237
Kosciusko9736123
Hancock8707149
Bartholomew8235157
Warrick8031157
Floyd7975181
Grant7337181
Wayne7222201
Boone7145105
Morgan6886142
Marshall6323116
Dubois6267118
Cass6083111
Dearborn598578
Noble595790
Henry5939111
Jackson514677
Shelby509097
Lawrence4901127
Gibson460696
Montgomery454492
Clinton453555
DeKalb451585
Harrison450576
Whitley414745
Huntington411781
Steuben409560
Miami404073
Jasper399455
Knox387091
Putnam383762
Wabash367383
Adams351656
Ripley350471
Jefferson340486
White338954
Daviess3084100
Wells302281
Greene292285
Decatur291493
Fayette285864
Posey280435
Scott278058
LaGrange276972
Clay273048
Washington252437
Randolph247083
Jennings238149
Spencer237531
Fountain233750
Starke229859
Owen221059
Sullivan219043
Fulton207645
Jay202832
Carroll196522
Orange190556
Perry189139
Vermillion179644
Rush177027
Franklin171635
Tipton171547
Parke153616
Pike141234
Blackford137832
Pulaski122948
Newton122436
Benton109215
Brown105743
Crawford105116
Martin92515
Warren87615
Switzerland8308
Union73510
Ohio58211
Unassigned0428

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1122104

Reported Deaths: 20467
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1302141493
Cuyahoga1171052259
Hamilton823021259
Montgomery534221059
Summit488431014
Lucas43716832
Butler39925614
Stark33777937
Lorain25975509
Warren24887312
Mahoning22677612
Lake21448396
Clermont20360260
Delaware19105138
Licking16838227
Trumbull16770491
Fairfield16750207
Medina15818276
Greene15497254
Clark14336308
Portage13410218
Wood13332201
Allen12037245
Richland11722213
Miami10993228
Wayne9249227
Columbiana9195236
Muskingum9118137
Pickaway8735123
Tuscarawas8710254
Marion8697140
Erie8116166
Ashtabula7270179
Hancock7043134
Ross7011165
Geauga6946153
Scioto6665108
Belmont6207179
Lawrence5912104
Union590449
Jefferson5722162
Huron5624122
Sandusky5473130
Darke5436130
Seneca5376128
Washington5360111
Athens526360
Auglaize506987
Mercer490585
Shelby480997
Knox4609112
Madison447266
Ashland442698
Defiance438499
Fulton435675
Putnam4351104
Crawford4108111
Brown409462
Preble3944107
Logan391679
Clinton388666
Ottawa375381
Highland364968
Williams356178
Champaign348060
Guernsey329754
Jackson321154
Perry298350
Morrow294543
Fayette288150
Hardin279065
Henry276967
Coshocton272561
Holmes2725102
Van Wert251765
Adams249158
Gallia248950
Pike244537
Wyandot235257
Hocking222263
Carroll200649
Paulding179342
Meigs151040
Noble137739
Monroe137445
Harrison115138
Morgan111624
Vinton87217
Unassigned03
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