Indiana Republican Attorney General Curtis Hill is facing mounting pressure to resign in light of allegations he groped and made inappropriate comments to women at a bar in March.
A confidential memo prepared by an outside law firm alleges that Hill touched multiple women, including a state lawmaker, hugging them and in one instance putting his hands under her clothes and grabbing her buttocks, the Indy Star reported Monday.
The leader of the Indiana Democratic Party has called for Hill to resign, and the state Republican chairman says the party has a zero tolerance for inappropriate behavior.
“I am continuing to learn about the details of the investigation into allegations” against Hill, GOP chairman Kyle Hupfer said in a statement.
“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 should all adhere,” Hupfer said. “Actions like these alleged have no place in public life or anywhere else.” Hupfer also praised Democratic and Republican legislative leaders for appointing an independent counsel to investigate the allegations.
The Democratic chairman John Zody urged Hill to resign to “spare Hoosiers from this controversy,” the Indy Star reports. “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,” Zody said.
“These allegations are deeply troubling,” Hill said in a statement shared with The Daily Caller News Foundation. Hill said he was invited to the bar after dinner for the end of session party, and described it as “very crowded with, [sic] legislators, lobbyists, staffers and others. (RELATED: Indiana Attorney General Plans To Repeal Abortion Law)
“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,” Hill said.
The memo, ordered by the legislature to investigate potential liabilities from Hill’s alleged behavior, is dated June 18 and prepared by the law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister. First reported by the Indy Star, the memo summarizes interviews with six women who attended a party at a downtown bar to celebrate the end of the legislative session.
At the party, one lawmaker alleges Hill was drunk and slid his hand down her back, under her clothes, and groped her rear end. She says she told Hill to “back off” and walked away, but he followed her and she told him to back off again, according to the memo. A legislative employee in the legislature saw Hill with the lawmaker, and wondered if it was a “cultural thing” that she didn’t comprehend. That employee alleges that Hill also groped her later in the evening.
A second legislative aide alleged that Hill put his hand on her back and slid it down. When she attempted to remove his hand, she said he grabbed her hand and groped her.
A third employee said Hill rubbed her back for about two minutes before she left the main bar for the restroom. Some of the women interviewed said Hill told multiple women they needed to “show a little skin” to receive faster service or free drinks.
Hill explained that he left the bar “with the gentleman who had invited me and went home” even though the celebration went on without him.
Hill decried the “fundamental lack of fairness to this entire process” and claims that he has been deprived of due process in the investigation.
“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 said.
“The lack of due process regarding this prejudicial investigation is concerning. I have never received a copy of this ‘confidential’ report along with the specific allegations made against me. While meeting with legislative leaders yesterday I requested a copy of this report but my request was denied despite the fact that the legislature acknowledged they had given it to the media. There is a fundamental lack of fairness to this entire process,” Hill said.
Before becoming attorney general in January 2017, Hill served as Elkhart County prosecutor for four terms. Hill spoke at President Donald Trump’s rally in Elkhart, Ind., in May.
Trump praised Hill for receiving more votes than anyone in Indiana history — “except for Trump.” The Indy Star found that to be false, as Trump received 1.55 million votes to win the 2016 presidential election in Indiana, while Hill received 1.6 million in his own race that year.
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