Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill is denying groping allegations levied against him in a story published Monday on the Indianapolis Star’s website.
The Star is reporting that four women accused the Attorney General of touching them inappropriately at a party on the last day of the legislative session at a party at AJ’s Lounge in downtown Indianapolis.
The women, according to an investigation conducted by a law firm hired by the four legislative leaders, say Hill touched their backs inappropriately and two accused him of grabbing their buttocks.
In a statement released to Indy Politics, Hill not only denies the allegations but says he was never interviewed to give his side of the story.
” 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.”
A spokesperson for House Speaker Brian Bosma and the other three statehouse leaders released the following statement to the Indy Star regarding its inquiry, a copy of which was provided to Indy Politics.
“On Monday, May 14, legislative leaders were first made aware of employee concerns regarding Attorney General Hill’s conduct at a social gathering at the closing of this year’s legislative session. House and Senate personnel policies strictly prohibit all forms of sexual harassment and clearly state that no employee should be subjected to unsolicited or unwelcome sexual advances or conduct, either verbal or physical. In accordance with House and Senate policies, interviews of those employees expressing concern were immediately conducted and outside counsel was engaged to be certain that the matter was handled properly and thoroughly. Our investigation has been completed and the matter has been addressed with the Attorney General to the satisfaction of the employees involved. Protection of House and Senate employees is of paramount importance to legislative leaders.”
Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody called on Hill to resign from his office.
“Like Governor Eric Holcomb has previously stated, Hoosier Democrats agree that there’s ‘zero room for harassment of any kind in any state government workplace’. These actions are never acceptable. We believe the multiple allegations against the Attorney General are serious, and raise material doubts over whether he can effectively carry out the duties of his office. Hill is Indiana’s chief law enforcement officer. It is not only his job to carry out the laws passed by the Indiana General Assembly, but also to protect Hoosiers from waste, fraud and abuse. The allegations reported yesterday are beyond troubling and wildly inappropriate in a professional or social environment for any person, much less a statewide elected official charged with such responsibility. Attorney General Hill should spare Hoosiers from this controversy and resign from office.”
Indiana Republican Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer took a more measured response.
“I am continuing to learn about the details of the investigation into allegations against Attorney General Curtis Hill. I appreciate that Speaker Bosma and President Pro Tem Long acted promptly to look into the allegations and that they acted in a bipartisan manner with Democrat legislative leadership to name an independent counsel to investigate. It’s important to be clear: As the Republican Party, we have zero tolerance for sexual harassment, and that’s the standard to which we all should adhere. Actions like these alleged have no place in public life or anywhere else.”