The state’s top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Todd Rokita, will face the judgment of the Indiana Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Commission.
FOX59 received confirmation of the matter before the commission this afternoon. A woman at the Washington law offices of Schaerr Jaffe acknowledged that managing partner Gene Schaerr has been retained by the Indiana Attorney General for a pair of legal matters.
One case is the grievance filed against Rokita with the Disciplinary Commission.
Disclosure of complaints to the commission are rare. By rules set down by the Indiana Supreme Court, matters before the commission are confidential. The only public notification comes when an attorney is punished.
The nine-member panel has a wide range of sanctions it can levy against attorneys from private reprimands up to revocation of law licenses.
Aside from the existence of an investigation of Rokita, FOX59 has no information on what exactly the Attorney General is alleged to have done to merit a review by the Disciplinary Commission.
The other matter Rokita hired Schaerr for is connected to the Attorney general’s investigation of Dr. Caitlin Bernard.
Last year, Rokita publicly announced he was examining the details of an abortion provided by Bernard to a 10-year-old Ohio sexual assault victim. In response to the investigation, attorneys for Bernard sought an injunction against Rokita.
In a court filing, Marion County Judge Health Welch denied the request, but also wrote “the Attorney General clearly violated Indiana law discussing (his investigation of Bernard) in the media.”
One example cited by Welch was a September interview of Rokita by FOX59’s Kristen Eskow. In the interview, Rokita said he and his officer were looking at the “licensure” of Bernard.
Because Rokita had tipped that he was considering going after Bernard’s medical license, Judge Welch wrote “the Attorney General violated the…confidentiality provision” of state law prohibiting disclosure of licensing investigations.
Rokita denies he broke the law and is now seeking a hearing to, in his words, “correct” Judge Welch’s ruling.
FOX59 did reach out to the Attorney General’s office for comment, but there has been no reply.