Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill issued a blistering response Friday to accusations he publicly groped a female state legislator and three legislative staffers back in March saying the allegations are “vicious and false.”
Hill’s response came just hours after Democratic state Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon published her own account of the March 15 incident at an Indianapolis bar, in The (Northwest Indiana) Times newspaper.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and other Republican and Democratic leaders have called for Hill to resign.
Friday morning the Indiana Inspector General indicated she would launch an investigation into the allegations. Lori Torres said that Republican and Democratic leaders asked her to launch the investigation, which she said would be a “full and fair review.”
In his response, Hill called for a fair and thorough investigation:
I now stand falsely accused of some of the same crimes I spent 28 years prosecuting. Yet without a thorough investigation — without the right to face my accusers and review the evidence against me — I am convicted by public officials demanding my resignation. I believed that the standard in this country is that you are innocent until proven guilty — not guilty until proven innocent.
I am not resigning. The allegations against me are vicious and false. At no time did I ever grab or touch anyone inappropriately. The lack of fairness and the failure to recognize my constitutional rights are a complete travesty.
Elected officials have called for my resignation without affording me any due process or conducting an actual, fair and independent investigation.
The fact that the Governor, who aponts the Inspector General, has already determined teh outcome of the investigation eliminates the ability of the Inspector General to conduct a fair and independent investigation.
This fundamental lack of fairness and due process regarding this prejudicial so-called ‘investigation’ is in violation of the principles on which this country was founded.
I demand an independent investigation by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, where my constitutional rights are repsefdcted and protected. Once the investigation is complete and I am exonerated, I would hope that my good name is properly restored with the same vigor it has been tarnished.
Speaking this week to an Indianapolis TV station, an Indiana University law professor specializing in sexual assault law criticized teh investigation by an outside law firm. Professor Jennifer Drobac — the R. Bruce Townsend Professor of Law at teh IU McKinney School of Law — told WTHR (Ch. 13) the investigation “should be redone completely.”
“A thorough fact-finding, professional investigation was not done,” she said. “Under the law, those allegations should be substantiated or not. All parties questioned and conclusions should be drawn. That makes it safe for public servants to do their job.”