INDIANAPOLIS — Attorney General Todd Rokita did something rare for someone facing an investigation by the Indiana Disciplinary Commission.
He spoke about it publicly.
In an interview with FOX59/CBS4 Statehouse Reporter Kristen Eskow, the Attorney General did talk briefly about facing the commission.
“They have my full cooperation. I’ve been answering their questions because I think if we can get to the bottom of this finally with an accurate picture of what went on that’ll be good for the entire process,” explained Rokita.
Disclosure of the commission’s investigation of Rokita came earlier this month from the attorney he hired to defend him. DC attorney Gene Schaerr is not licensed to practice law in Indiana. So, Schaerr petitioned the Indiana Supreme Court for temporary admission to the state bar. In that process, Schaerr submitted a filing indicating he’d been hired to handle the Disciplinary Commission matter against Rokita.
The commission’s work is secretive by design. It does not disclose which attorneys it is investigating or why a lawyer has drawn the commission’s scrutiny. Also, the panel of seven attorneys and two non-attorneys does not publicize its meeting schedule or agenda.
An investigation is typically initiated by a complaint, but they are also not disclosed.
Rokita did not discuss what is specifically in the complaint or complaints filed against him, but his comments today indicate it may involve his investigation last year into Dr. Caitlin Bernard.
In a court case related to that probe, Marion County Court Judge Heather Welch wrote in a December ruling “the Attorney General clearly violated Indiana law discussing (his investigation of Bernard) in the media.”
In today’s interview Rokita explained why he thought the judge got it wrong, “I can do non-confidential investigations in certain areas of law… against doctors and others…. And have independent causes of action surrounding those. So that… that’s one example of where there was nothing wrong with what I said.”
Rokita would later add in the interview that he believed he’s been an excellent Attorney General and opposition to his offices “aggressive direction” has rubbed “some of the establishment and certainly liberals the wrong way.”