INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It could take three months for the Indiana Supreme Court to rule after Attorney General Curtis Hill’s hearing on professional misconduct charges.
For lawyers in Indiana going through these hearings, it is almost the cost of doing business. For high-profile, elected lawyers, the hearings could be career-changing.
The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission is the gatekeeper for professional conduct in the state. Hill is believed to be the first sitting Indiana attorney general to be tried by the commission.
Former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi has been through two commission hearings: one for something he said about a case and the other for business dealings. He won one and lost one.
“But, lawyers are very highly regulated, and it is interesting in Indiana. I’m not sure how it is in other states, but as a profession we are very hard on ourselves. I think lawyers in Indiana are superhard on each other,” Brizzi said.
For Hill, the hearing process is over. The hearing judge could rule in a few weeks. On the other side, his life could be considerably different if he loses and given a public reprimand that would not affect his ability to practice law. His future could gets even murkier if he is suspended.
“Can he appoint someone to fulfill his term or full that period of time — if it is 30 days, 60 days, 90 days or whatever — and step back into the role or does that somehow disqualify him from holding the position of attorney general? And I think it is a case of first impression because nobody seems to know the answer,” Brizzi said.
Four women have accused Hill of groping them at an after-hours legislative party in March 2018. He denied 100 percent any wrongdoing or any inappropriate behavior and testified this week this is a political attack. A special prosecutor also cleared Hill of any criminal wrongdoing.
“He has a powerful personality. There are very important powerful people in Indiana government on both sides, but mostly Republican, who may have taken exception to how he has handled himself in office. It is not a mystery that they wanted him to resign,” Brizzi said.
Hill has not announced whether he will run for the office again or not.