Top Indiana Republicans have called for Attorney General Curtis Hill to resign or face removal after four different women accused him of sexually harassing them on March 15.
In addition, the formerly anonymous lawmaker who reported Hill had grabbed her buttocks has come forward as Mara Candelaria Reardon, a state representative from Munster, Indiana.
“As I continue to deal with the harm perpetrated by Indiana’s top law enforcement official, I must also deal with the reality that there is no process by which Curtis Hill, an independently elected official, can be held accountable,” Reardon said in a letter to the IndyStar.
The independent law firm, Taft Stettinius & Hollister, which investigated Reardon’s claims, quotes an unattributed source in the internal memo it produced who said Hill came up to Reardon, slid his hands down her back and "grabbed a handful of ass." At that point she told him to back off, only to have him grab her buttocks again.
The representative again told him to back off.
Indiana Democrats were some of the first to ask for Hill to resign, but the Republicans have now joined in that same request.
Governor Eric Holcomb, House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, and Senate President David Long, R-Fort Wayne, all issued statements asking for Hill to resign in the wake of these allegations. Holcomb said there is no place for sexual harassment within the Indiana GOP and he supports a thorough investigation.
“Four women had the courage to step forward to report sexual harassment by the Indiana Attorney General,” Holcomb said in the 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.”
Bosma and Long were both clear that while Hill was not an employee of theirs and they cannot terminate his employment, he should resign at once due to these allegations.
Top Republican women in the state joined Holcomb in calling for Hill’s resignation. Lt. Governor Susan Crouch and Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, two of the highest ranked Republican women in the state, were among the first to release statements.
“Indiana deserves a safe work environment, which extends beyond the workplace," Lawson said. "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.”
Lawson, along with Treasurer Kelly Mitchell and Auditor Tera Klutz, are the only women running for statewide elected positions in 2018 and all of them are Republicans.
On July 3, Hill said he would not resign. He said Hoosiers elected him attorney general by a large margin, and he will continue to honor his commitment to Indiana.
Holcomb, even though he is the governor, is not able to force Hill to resign, since Hill’s position is a separately-elected executive position within the state government.
The Indiana Constitution, while it does not permit recall elections under any circumstance, does allow for an elected official to be impeached either by the state legislature or a circuit court for committing a crime.
An elected official could also be removed because he does not comply with a specific requirement of the Constitution. Some of those requirements according to the Indiana Constitution are:not being convicted of a felony, not being habitually drunk and living in the election district.
Hill, if he chooses to not resign, could face possible impeachment by the House of Representatives and be tried by the Senate or impeached by a joint resolution by the entire General Assembly.