Politics

AG Hill not resigning, calls allegations 'vicious and false'

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) -- Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill is calling for a "fair and thorough" investigation into the allegations against him. 

Hill is accused of groping several women. 

The allegations came to light Monday night after a report by The Indianapolis Star said a lawmaker and three legislative staffers claimed Hill, a Republican, inappropriately touched and groped them at an end-of-session party at a downtown Indianapolis bar in March.

State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, a Democrat from Munster, on Friday was the first of the accusers to publicly identify herself.

Gov. Eric Holcomb, members of the Indiana Democratic and Republican parties and some U.S. lawmakers serving Indiana have called for Hill to resign. The Indiana inspector general said Friday she will look into the allegations against Hill.

Hill denied the allegations on Monday before issuing this statement on Friday:

"I now stand falsely accused of some of the same crimes I spent 28 years prosecuting. Yet without a thorough investigation -- without the right to face my accusers and review the evidence against me -- I am convicted by public officials demanding my resignation. I believed that the standard in this country is that you are innocent until proven guilty -- not guilty until proven innocent.

I am not resigning. The allegations against me are vicious and false. At no time did I ever grab or touch anyone inappropriately. The lack of fairness and the failure to recognize my constitutional rights are a complete travesty.

Elected officials have called for my resignation without affording me any due process or conducting an actual, fair and independent investigation.

The fact that the Governor, who appoints the Inspector General, has already determined the outcome of the investigation eliminates the ability of the Inspector General to conduct a fair and independent investigation.

This fundamental lack of fairness and due process regarding this prejudicial so-called 'investigation' is in violation of the principles on which this country was founded.

I demand an independent investigation by the Marion County Prosecutor's Office, where my constitutional rights are respected and protected. Once the investigation is complete and I am exonerated, I would hope that my good name is properly restored with the same vigor with which it has been tarnished.

Speaking this week to an Indianapolis TV station, an Indiana University law professor specializing in sexual assault law criticized the investigation by an outside law firm. Professor Jennifer Drobac -- the R. Bruce Townsend Professor of Law at the IU McKinney School of Law -- told WTHR (Ch. 13) the investigation 'should be redone completely.'

'A thorough fact-finding, professional investigation was not done,' she said. 'Under the law, those allegations should be substantiated or not. All parties questioned and conclusions should be drawn. That makes it safe for public servants to do their jobs.'"

The Rev. Charles Harrison, senior pastor at Barnes United Methodist Church, said, "I really believe there has to be due process."

Harrison also runs the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition that fights urban gun violence. He said Friday he supports Hill as a person.

"If the women were sexually harassed by Attorney General Curtis Hill, then we need to get that right," Harrison said. "But, we need to see all of the facts. Certainly if that was the case, then I stand with them and all to condemn that. If that's not the case, then I stand with Attorney General Curtis Hill when he says 'I'm not going to step down because I didn't do this.'"

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. 


Local Headlines

Latest Local News

National Headlines