INDIANAPOLIS -- Attorney General Curtis Hill said Friday he will not resign from his office over allegations of sexual harassment, despite calls from Governor Eric Holcomb and elected leaders from both parties for him to step down.
Hill has been under increasing pressure this week after the contents of a classified memo about allegations he inappropriately touched multiple women at a March 15 party were made public.
The memo, prepared by the law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister on behalf of state legislators, states that a lawmaker and three legislative staffers all said Hill inappropriately touched them at a party shortly after Indiana’s legislative session came to a close.
One of those women, Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon (D-12th District), came forward Friday in an op-ed piece published by the Times of Northwest Indiana.
In the op-ed, Reardon said Hill grabbed her buttocks while she was standing next to a staffer. Later in the evening, she said he approached her again and put his hand on her back, saying, “That skin. That back.”
Reardon said she left the party soon thereafter, but later learned about other instances where Hill had allegedly groped women during the party.
On Thursday, Indiana’s top elected Republican officials – Gov. Holcomb, House Speaker Brian Bosma, Senate President Pro Tem David Long, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and Secretary of State Connie Lawson, among others – called on Hill to resign. Holcomb released a statement calling the allegations against Hill “disturbing.” Bosma and Long released their own joint statement saying that if Hill were their employee, he would “already have been fired.”
But Hill, an independently elected official who would have to be impeached to be forcibly removed from office (a step that no elected official has ever faced under Indiana's current constitution, RTV6's newsgathering partner WIBC reports) , pushed back Friday, saying he would not resign and calling for a “thorough investigation” of the accusations against him.
ATTORNEY GENERAL CURTIS HILL'S FULL STATEMENT
“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 and 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.”
As of Friday afternoon, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office said it was only made aware of Hill's request for an independent investigation via media reports. RTV6 reached out to a Hill spokesman to see whether the attorney general intended to make a formal request to Prosecutor Terry Curry’s office.
A protest to call for Hill to resign was planned for 2 p.m. Saturday on the steps of the Indiana Statehouse.
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