AG Hill contests special prosecutor role in groping investigation

Lawyers for Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill have filed court papers challenging the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate whether he drunkenly groped a lawmaker and three legislative staffers.

A document filed in Marion Superior Court also challenges the authority of the state’s Inspector General to build a case against him, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported Saturday.

The document filed Thursday asks Judge Lisa Borges to recognize there’s no immediate need for a special prosecutor because no criminal allegations have been filed with law enforcement authorities, and it requests that she take no further action in selecting one.

“(The) appointment of a special prosecutor is premature and/or anticipatory, and does nothing more than create the impression and fuel the speculation that there was a crime committed or should be a criminal investigation,” his attorneys wrote in the document.

On Tuesday, Borges approved Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry’s request for a special prosecutor, though one hasn’t been appointed yet. Hill had previously demanded that Curry investigate the allegations that were first made public in a legislative memo leaked to media outlets, but the Democratic prosecutor said he cannot do so because Hill’s office is currently representing him in two civil actions.

The AG has since followed up with more general calls for a “proper” investigation into the allegations. The initial investigation conducted by state legislative leaders has come under fire from both Hill and sexual harassment law and legal ethics experts.

Meanwhile, three Democratic state representatives — Ed DeLaney of Indianapolis, Ryan Dvorak of South Bend and Matt Pierce of Bloomington — announced Saturday they have authored a proposed House resolution asking Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma to begin an investigation into whether Hill should be impeached for alleged acts of misconduct. The General Assembly currently isn’t in session.

Inspector General Lori Torres said Friday her office is investigating the claims that Hill, a Republican, drunkenly groped four women at an Indianapolis bar early on March 15 at a party celebrating the end of the legislative session. Democratic State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon and Niki DaSilva, a Senate Republican legislative staffer, have alleged that Hill groped their buttocks, while Senate minority communications director Gabrielle McLemore has alleged that he rubbed her back without her permission.

Bosma, Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, Senate President pro tem David Long and other officials from both major parties have called on Hill to resign. Hill has denied the allegations and has rebuffed the calls for his resignation.

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