INDIANAPOLIS -- Three of Indiana’s top-ranking Republican leaders called on Attorney General Curtis Hill to resign Thursday evening over allegations of sexual harassment at a March 15 party following the end of the legislative session.
Governor Eric Holcomb, House Speaker Brian Bosma and outgoing Senate President Pro Tem David Long, all Republicans, issued statements Thursday calling a recent legislative report outlining the allegations against Hill “disturbing,” and calling for him to step down from his post.
“Four women had the courage to step forward to report sexual harassment by the Indiana Attorney General,” Holcomb said in a release. “The findings of the recent legislative report are disturbing and, at a minimum, show a violation of the state’s zero tolerance sexual harassment policy. I concur with Sen. Long and Speaker Bosma that Attorney General Hill should resign, and I support a thorough investigation by the state’s Inspector General.”
Bosma and Long released a joint statement just minutes before Holcomb, echoing the governor’s sentiments:
“We believe that the women who came forward with accounts of inappropriate behavior by Attorney General Curtis Hill in the early hours of March 15, 2018, are telling the truth regardless of the Attorney General’s denial of these allegations. We do not believe that Curtis Hill, as chief law enforcement officer of the State of Indiana, can continue to perform his duties, nor should he, and we call for his immediate resignation. We have further requested that the Indiana Inspector General thoroughly investigate these allegations. Sexual harassment is unacceptable at any time, in any place. It makes no difference that these incidents did not occur in a workplace environment. Curtis Hill is not our employee; if he was, he would already have been fired. Because we cannot terminate his employment, we ask instead for him to own up to his actions, apologize publicly to the victims, and tender his resignation immediately.”
An eight-page memo prepared by the law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister, first reported on by the Indianapolis Star earlier this week, outlines allegations of sexual misconduct against Hill, which allegedly happened on March 15. The memo states that a lawmaker and three legislative staffers said Hill inappropriately touched them at a party shortly after Indiana’s legislative session came to a close.
Hill has denied the allegations, and also criticized a “lack of due process.”
"I interacted with several people - talking, laughing, and telling stories," Hill said in a statement. "At no time was my behavior inappropriate nor did I touch anyone in an inappropriate manner."
ATTORNEY GENERAL CURTIS HILL’S FILL STATEMENT
These allegations are deeply troubling.
Following dinner, I was invited to AJ's lounge for the legislative end of session party.
The celebration at AJ's was very crowded with, legislators, lobbyists, staffers and others. The atmosphere was light and jovial, as would be expected in a bar.
I interacted with several people - talking, laughing, and telling stories. At no time was my behavior inappropriate nor did I touch anyone in an inappropriate manner.
While the celebration continued, I left with the gentleman who had invited me and went home.
I have never been contacted by any investigator. I have not been informed of who made these allegations nor have I been provided any due process with regard to these vicious allegations.
Hill has also pushed back on previous calls for him to resign, saying in a statement Tuesday that he had no plans to do so.
"Let me be clear, I am not resigning my position as Attorney General," Hill said. "The people of the State of Indiana have given me the highest honor to have elected me with overwhelming support to the position of Attorney General. I will continue to honor my commitment to the citizens of this great state.”
A protest to call for Hill to resign had already been planned prior to the Republican leaders’ statements for 2:00 p.m. Saturday on the steps of the Indiana Statehouse.
RTV6 reached out Thursday evening to the attorney general’s office for comment on Holcomb, Bosma and Long’s statement. This story will be updated when a response becomes available.
Statements on allegations against Hill:
Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson:
“Indiana deserves a safe work environment, which extends beyond the workplace. I am disappointed that I must make such a call, but Attorney General Hill should resign. Our state leaders are held to a higher standard and must behave in such a manner.”
Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault:
"The Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault (ICESA) wholeheartedly supports Governor Eric Holcomb, House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senator David Long in calling for the resignation of Attorney General Curtis Hill.
The four women, a state lawmaker and three legislative employees, bravely came forward to report the Attorney General’s offensive behavior. To be believed and supported by the Governor, Speaker of the House and the Senate Pro Tempore sends an incredibly important message that the state of Indiana and its elected leadership will not tolerate sexual harassment, coercion or assault and will foster an environment of safety and respect to all Hoosiers.
Attorney General Hill, in our opinion, has no choice but to resign immediately. Furthermore, he must apologize to the women directly involved, stop denying the allegations, own up to his actions, and apologize to citizens across Indiana. He was elected to serve as Indiana’s chief legal officer – his behavior on March 15, 2018 no longer allows him to hold the office with any integrity.
Sexual harassment, coercion and assault should never be tolerated; therefore, Attorney General Hill has no other choice but to do the right thing and resign.
We are deeply grateful to the women who made the decision to share their experiences. We stand with you."