Here are a few items from the legal world regarding Indiana politics you might find interesting…
Indiana House and Senate Republicans have filed an amended answer in the sexual harassment lawsuit involving Attorney General Curtis Hill. This was in response to an amended complaint filed by four women who accused Hill of groping them in a bar at a sine die party last year. In the amended complaint, one of the alleged victims says an “unnamed House Democratic lawmaker” made unwanted advances against her. In addition, the women say House and Senate leadership tried to get more details about the accusations even though the General Assembly was involved in the lawsuit. In their amended complaint the House and Senate not only rearticulate one of their earlier defenses (i.e., the sine die party was not an employer-related event, the Attorney General is a separately elected office and they have no control over him) but that the plaintiff who made the accusation about the “unnamed House Democratic lawmaker” never told leadership about the incident and when they found out about it, she failed to take advantage of House policies to address the matter. They also say House and Senate staff tried to communicate with the plaintiffs, it was not to intimidate or make them feel uncomfortable, but instead to help the women get the matter resolved.
A federal judge ruled Thursday that Marion County election officials do not have to independent Mayoral candidate John Schmidt on the ballot. A hearing on Schmitz’s request for an emergency injunction was held last Thursday. The Election Board voted to keep Schmidt for not having enough signatures, particularly those of voters whose addresses on the petition form did not match their address at voter registration. Schmidt’s lawyers argued they just had to be registered voters and it was unclear on the forms whether they had to give the right address. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt held that state law was clear and voters must include the address where they are registered to vote in order for their petition signature to qualify.
The Hamilton County Election Board voted this week 3-0 to turn down a complaint filed by Republican Westfield Council candidate Mike Johns against Kate Snedeker. Snedeker is running as an independent. Johns tried to argue that there were a number of irregularities on Snedecker’s forms that she should have been disqualified. The Board stated that any discrepancies were minor and that Snedeker followed the law. Snedeker was represented by attorney David Brooks, who has also represented the Hamilton County Republican Party.