Stafford: Curtis Hill’s new challenge — Elvis options becoming limited

editor-perspective-stafford.jpgPity poor Attorney General Curtis Hill. Honestly, it is getting so that a tipsy politician can’t show up early at someone else’s party and make a lecher of himself anymore. People from the governor on down want Hill gone, and the women who say he groped them are going to sue him and the state of Indiana.

Hill is caught in a trap. He can’t walk out. Because he loves bein’ AG too much, bay-bay. And, come what may, he’s gonna follow that dream wherever that dream may lead.

Be that as it may, Hill’s current and ongoing troubles are casting serious doubt not just on his fitness and ability to serve as the state’s top lawyer, but also on his sometimes avocation as an Elvis impersonator. Now that he’s all shook up, our state attorney general singing “My Way” in a rhinestone-studded, open-torso jumpsuit sadly may become an object of ridicule.

And when you think of it, it’s tough to imagine Hill singing “You Ain’t Nothin’ But A Hound Dog” without at least a few knowing snickers and elbow nudges rippling through the audience. And let’s not even talk about “Hard Headed Woman.” That one’s definitely out. And “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” “Burning Love?” Creepy, indeed.

What Hill is accused of doing to four women at a party in March at AJ’s Lounge was, as the King sang, Way Down. But after Hill later used the resources and the weight of his office to malign and threaten his accusers, whom investigators said they believed, it seems “Don’t Be Cruel” also will be off his Elvis tribute list.

But bad as things look, don’t count on Hill to sing “There Goes My Everything” quite yet. Showing no sign of giving up his office as we careen toward the opening of another session of the General Assembly in January, Hill may be holding out for a good luck charm, or he may just be holding out. If he’s playing Viva Las Vegas, his best bet is standing and calling bluffs. Who’s going to step on his blue suede shoes?

For lawmakers, the “It’s Now or Never” moment regarding Hill’s fate as Indiana’s top attorney will come early in the session. Hill has the confidence of neither the governor nor the leaders of either party. But are they capable of some Elvis-level TCB? Will anyone who’s called for Hill’s resignation actually sing a chorus of “He’ll Have to Go” and launch impeachment proceedings?

Fools rush in under these circumstances. Especially when, under these very same circumstances, the Legislature seems to have failed to even convene a hearing to talk about sexual harassment and sexual misconduct as it was required to do under House Enrolled Act 1309. Speaker Brian Bosma was to chair that committee after much ado about how lawmakers were, finally, serious about dealing with this. But Bosma, facing his own set of accusations, determined what was needed was a little less conversation.

As often happens, what lawmakers didn’t want to talk about this summer is poised to become the thing people won’t stop talking about this winter.

However this turns out, it’s looking like it may be a Blue Christmas for Hill. Because at this point, there’s not much he can do to make the world go away. And even if he somehow clings to his office, the fact remains: We can’t go on together with suspicious minds.•

Dave Stafford is editor of Indiana Lawyer. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

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