The Journal Gazette
Friday, February 14, 2020 4:40 pm

Judge recommends suspending Curtis Hill's law license

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS -- The judge who presided over Attorney General Curtis Hill’s disciplinary hearing recommended Friday that his law license be suspended for 60 days without automatic reinstatement. 

The recommendation is not binding. The Indiana Supreme Court ultimately will decide whether Hill committed attorney misconduct and what, if any, his punishment will be.

Hill is accused of groping four women at a March 2018 post-legislative party at an Indianapolis bar. One was a female legislator and the three others were staffers. A special prosecutor chose not to file criminal charges against Hill, who also faces a federal lawsuit.

Another woman also came forward to say Hill propositioned her for sex when he was her boss at the Elkhart County Prosecutor's Office. 

Judge Myra Selby presided over a four-day hearing in October in the disciplinary case.

Selby issued a report Friday that said although there was testimony characterizing Hill as a gregarious person who regularly made physical contact with people when talking with them, there was also credible testimony from the four women that he touched them and made sexual comments and that the touching and the comments were unwelcome.

She said Hill's conduct both before and after the post-legislative party "has caused injury to the four women. Respondent's conduct was offensive, invasive, damaging, and embarrassing to the four women. Respondent showed no insight regarding the impact of his actions. 

"Further, Respondent's conduct, both during and after the Sine Die party, has an adverse impact on the public's perception of our State's executive branch and on the profession."

Following the testimony of dozens of witnesses -- including Hill himself -- the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission filed proposed findings that included a two-year suspension of his law license. His defense filed documents recommending the case be dismissed.

If Hill’s license is suspended, it puts in jeopardy his ability to continue as attorney general. He is also seeking reelection and has two Republican opponents in the GOP convention scheduled for June.

The law isn’t clear whether a suspended license would count as a vacancy in the office that Gov. Eric Holcomb would fill. The length of any suspension would be key in determining whether he would simply be suspended without pay but not lose his elected post.

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