Indiana News

Democrats send resolution to speaker on Hill impeachment

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Several state lawmakers want to investigate grounds for the impeachment of Attorney General Curtis Hill in connection with allegations of inappropriate touching. 

“I’m frustrated that so far, the legislature and everybody else is acting like they’ll just wash their hands of it and it’ll go away. Well, it’s not going to go away,” said State Rep. Ed DeLaney, a Democrat from Indianapolis.

DeLaney dropped the resolution off at House Speaker Brian Bosma’s office Monday. In it, DeLaney and fellow Democratic State Reps. Ryan Dvorak and Matt Pierce call on lawmakers to investigate whether grounds exist to impeach Attorney General Curtis Hill.

“He has rejected all other solutions. He says a special prosecutor can’t do the job; the inspector general has a conflict of interest. We don’t have those problems. We do have the authority to remove him from office,” DeLaney said. 

Hill faces allegations that he inappropriately touched 4 women at a bar in Indianapolis during a March 15 legislative end-of-session party. In recent weeks, three of the four women have come forward publicly: Democratic State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, Senate Democrats spokeperson Gabrielle McLemore and Niki DaSilva, who works for the Senate Republican Caucus.

“If these women who work for the legislature, or who are a member of the legislature can’t be protected from sexual harassment, then what women can be protected?” DeLaney said.

Hill has repeatedly denied those allegations against him, calling them “false and vicious.” He has rebuked calls for from both parties for his resignation, including from Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Laura Wilson, who teaches political science at University of Indianapolis, said Hill might be using a strategy: “I think in some ways, Hill is taking notes right out of the Donald Trump playbook. They’ve been very effective for President Trump. I don’t know they’d necessarily transcend well at the state level.”

Wilson said Hill seems to be appealing to social conservatives within his own base via social media.

“He’s had ads on Facebook, on Twitter. He’s asking normal voters, saying, ‘Hey, I haven’t had due diligence.’ As he says it. ‘This isn’t fair, there were inconsistencies in the memo and the investigation.’ He’s publicly appealing directly to voters.”

Erin Reece, communications director for the Indiana House Republicans, released the following statement on Monday: “A House resolution was dropped off at the speaker’s office this morning by State Rep. Ed DeLaney, however House resolutions are not eligible to be filed until the legislative session convenes in November. The speaker agrees with the need for a comprehensive investigation and that’s why he joined Senate President Pro Tem David Long in calling upon the Office of the Inspector General to do just that. While keeping all options on the table, he will await the findings of the Inspector General’s investigation before considering any further steps.”

News 8 reached out for a statement from Hill’s office in response to the resolution proposal but did not hear back on Monday night. 

Timeline: 

March 15: A legislative end-of-session party occurs at a downtown Indianapolis bar, AJ’s Lounge, 1118 S. Meridian St.

May 14: The state’s top four legislative leaders are made aware of concerns regarding Attorney General Curtis Hill’s conduct at the party.

May 15, 16 and 17: Five legislative employees who made the allegations are interviewed by various legislative personnel.

June 18: An Indianapolis lawyer, Blake J. Burgan, sends a report by email to the director of the Indiana Legislative Services Agency, George T. Angelone, to advise the General Assembly regarding an investigation into alleged inappropriate conduct by Hill.

June 29: Hill learns about the investigation into concerns about his conduct at the party during a conference call with legislative leaders.

Monday, July 2: Hill meets with legislators about the allegations. He said he requested a copy of a “confidential” report about the allegation prepared by an Indianapolis lawyer, Blake J. Burgan.

IndyStar.com publishes an exclusive story on four women alleging Attorney General Curtis Hill inappropriately touched them at the March 15 party at an Indianapolis bar. 

The state’s top four legislative leaders say they had completed an investigation into concerns expressed by General Assembly employees about Hill’s conduct at the party.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, celebrating his anniversary in a remote area of Montana, says he will comment upon his return to Indianapolis late July 3.

Hill issues a statement calling the allegations “troubling” and denying any inappropriate behavior.

Tuesday, July 3: State Democratic Party leaders call for Hill’s resignation. 

Hill issues a statement: “The lack of due process in the prejudicial investigation is concerning.” He later issues another statement: “Let me be clear, I am not resigning my position as Attorney General.”

The Associated Press releases a copy of the “confidential” report

Thursday, July 5: Gov. Holcomb calls on Hill to resign. 

Friday, July 6: Indiana Inspector General Lori Torres says her office will conduct an investigation into the allegations.

State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, a Democrat from Munster, writes a column for The Northwest Indiana Times that details her being grabbed by Hill.

Hill reiterates in a statement from his office that he will not resign. 

Gabrielle McLemore, a spokeswoman for the Indiana Senate Democrats, writes a statement detailing Hill giving her a back rub.

Monday, July 9: Hill holds a press conference where he says that as both a prosecuting attorney and attorney general he has respected the rule and process of law afforded by the Constitution, but that he has not been given that same right.  

Reardon releases a statement saying Hill has “betrayed the public trust.”

Thursday, July 12: Niki DaSilva, who works for the Senate Republican Caucus, releases a statement about her experience with Hill.

Hill responded saying the women’s “stories appear to be coordinated and changed under the direction of others.”

Saturday, July 14: Reps. Ed DeLaney of Indianapolis, Ryan Dvorak of South Bend, and Matt Pierce of Bloomington announce they will ask House Speaker Brian Bosma to investigate grounds for Hill’s impeachment. 

The Times of Northwest Indiana reports that lawyers for Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill have filed court papers challenging the appointment of a special prosecutor.

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