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Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Hypocrisy of Hoosier Politicians About Curtis Hill w/Update

Attorney General Curtis Hill R-Indiana 

For much of the past week the news here in Indiana has revolved to a significant extent on the allegations of sexual harassment leveled against Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill. Hill is accused of inappropriately touching four women at a party at AJ’s Lounge in Indianapolis back on March the 15th of this year. The allegations became public knowledge with the leak of a confidential memo containing information on the alleged incidents of March 15th. You can read the memo by clicking hereTony Cook, Ryan Martin and Kaitlin Lange reported that after state legislative leaders were informed of the alleged groping by Hill in May that:

Details of the accusations are outlined in a confidential June 18 memorandum prepared by the Taft Stettinius & Hollister law firm at the request of legislative leaders. 

The internal legislative investigation into his actions at AJ's Lounge was initiated by Bosma and Long when the groping allegations were first brought to their attention in May, about two months after the party, according to the memo.

The Indianapolis Star says that according to “Jennifer Drobac, a law professor at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. In groping cases, Drobac said, prosecutors typically decide whether the alleged battery was sexual in nature. If not, a criminal charge would be a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a potential sentence of 180 days in a county jail and a fine up to $1,000. A more severe penalty is possible, however, if the battery is sexual. That violation, a Level 6 felony, carries a potential sentence of six months to 2.5 years in state prison or a county jail and a fine up to $10,000.”

Professor Drobac does also say that civil penalties might come into play depending on the circumstances.

State Representative Ed Delaney-D Indianapolis 

“Even his own party says he’s not fit to be in the office,” DeLaney said. “There will have to be an impeachment.” 

But DeLaney said state statute isn’t exactly clear about the impeachment process, and it’s never been done, so he’s carefully examining the statute and looking at states with similar language to determine the appropriate action.

“These things have not been tried out,” DeLaney said. “People generally get the message and depart.”

Bosma has not said whether impeachment is an option he’s considering, and if so, how long he would wait. DeLaney said “a few days seems reasonable.”

But with or without Republican support, DeLaney said he will push for impeachment.

“I prefer to push with some support from the other side of the aisle,” DeLaney said. “The public doesn’t need a months long war over the fate of Curtis Hill.”

One of the things that has piqued IR’s interest about the whole Curtis Hill situation is that nobody from the legislative Republican leadership spoke to Hill about these allegations until 11 days after the June 18th, 2018 Memo. Which has led some (all of us included) to believe that Brian Bosma, David Long and others were hoping to handle this situation quickly and quietly and pray it would just disappear. With the leak of this confidential memo to the Indianapolis Star it doesn’t appear as though Hill’s alleged groping is going to be dealt with quietly or quickly. As of the date this post was written two of the four alleged victims have publicly identified themselves. State Representative Mara Candelaria Reardon D-Munster and Gabrielle McLemore who is the Communications Director for the Indiana State Senate Democrats. You can read each of their letters to the public here and here. Curtis Hill so far has adamantly refused to resign and has asked the Marion County Prosecutors Office to investigate the incidents rather than the State’s Inspector General. Hill’s reasoning for this he says is that since Governor Eric Holcomb has already said he thinks that Hill should resign that having the IG who is an appointee of Holcomb’s to investigate would not lend itself to an impartial investigation. On this we agree with Hill. Even though IR believes the allegations against Hill are credible and that he should resign. That does not mean that we the people should ignore the Glass House inhabitited by many of our elected officials screaming the loudest for Hill’s head.

Readers of Indy Republican , Advance Indiana, and Ogden on Politics may recall that all three of these blogs have written about the severe ethical and legal problems that Eric Holcomb, Ed Delaney, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson and State House Speaker Bosma have had themselves. Some of them as far as IR knows are not guilty of sexual harassment. Nonetheless there are serious questions about these and other elected officials in Indiana’s conduct that in the interest of justice should be explored. We have previously written about Ed Delaney who is a former attorney at Barnes and Thornburg and the mystery as to why he decided to meet someone he did not know in an abandoned parking lot in 2009, which then resulted in Delaney being injured by Gus Mendenhall. Probably due to less than ethical conduct back in the early 1980’s by Delaney in ruining Mendenhall’s father Burke’s business venture. Connie Lawson who serves as Indiana Secretary of State herself according to some had homesteads in Hendricks, Marion County and Arizona all at the same time. Governor Eric Holcomb who once falsely accused a political opponent of his of engaging in beastilaty. As well as announcing in 2016 he would be dropping his bid for the US Senate and then right after then Governor Mike Pence announced that Holcomb would be appointed Lieutenant Governor to replace outgoing LG Sue Ellsperman in an arrangement that stinks to high heaven. Gary Welsh wrote about this here  hereIR also wrote last year about Holcomb’s administrations being sued by high powered Republican attorney Jim Bopp, over allegations that the State of Indiana was illegally collecting certain trucking fees. Given just how much of an autocrat Holcomb was as state GOP Chairman it’s likely that he would have heard something about Hill’s issues. And given the very public antagonism between the Governor and AG it’s strange that he wouldn’t have tried to use this as leverage over Hill. As for House Speaker Bosma from what we have been hearing going back several years he doesn’t have a squeaky clean life himself. Wish we could say more than that. But unfortunately we cannot. 

Earlier this evening Hill issued a statement saying he would address the media tomorrow at 10 AM in his office. What Hill has planned is anyone’s guess. He has so far stated that he will not resign. So far his only defender of any prominence that we can find is Revered Charles Harrison leader of the Ten Points Coalition in Indianapolis. In a statement released to the media on WRTV-6’s website Harrison said this about Hill: 

“First let me say I am against any kind of sexual harassment, and I believe that this kind of conduct has no place in our society. I have known Attorney General Curtis Hill Jr for several years now. I have often been with Attorney General Curtis Hill Jr in a lot of different settings, and I have never witnessed in my presence any kind of sexual misconduct toward women. Attorney General Hill has always been respectful and has conducted himself in appropriate ways around women. I can only speak to what I have witnessed, and in my presence Attorney General Hill's conduct has always been honorable.”

As a man of the cloth. We sincerely hope that Harrison’s statement is a genuine reflection of his thoughts on Curtis Hill. But a few have noted that Harrison’s defense of Hill might be influenced by the fact that as Attorney General Hill has helped setup $500,000 to help with the expansion of Reverend Harrison’s Ten Points Coalition

We will be watching to see what Hill has to say at his conference tomorrow. Friend of the blog Paul Ogden wrote about Hill on Friday  And Rob Kendall discussed the Hill drama on his radio show this afternoon:

Till next time goodnight and God Bless you all. 

UPDATE: An alert readers has just made us aware that Curtis Hill is putting out ads in his defense. Checkout this tweet by Tony Cook for the details:

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